Here is your chance to submit a business plan for the chance to win cash prizes in the 2021 Bank of the Regions Business Plan Competition.

Entrepreneurs in southern Illinois can compete for funding for innovation and small business development in Regions Bank’s 2021 Business Plan Competition. The bank awards a first prize of $ 5,000 and second and third prizes of $ 3,000 and $ 2,000 respectively through the SIU Foundation. The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will provide technical support and business assistance and the deadline for submitting applications is Friday, November 12.

“Despite the challenges of this past year with the pandemic, we have seen a tremendous increase in interest from southern Illinois entrepreneurs emerging with innovative new business concepts or business expansion ideas,” he said. said Deborah Barnett, director of business incubator programs at SIU. “The support for the Regions Bank Business Plan Competition through the SIU Foundation is timely and will serve as a spark to continue the entrepreneurial momentum that we have seen developing in the region.”

The Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center is located in the Southern Illinois Research Park at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


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The winners will be announced during UES Research ParkPresentation of innovation and entrepreneurship on December 2 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale.

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“The announcement of the winners of the business plan competition will be the highlight of the showcase,” said Lynn Andersen Lindberg, Executive Director of SIU Research Park. “The opportunity to help start several emerging or expanding small businesses in partnership with Regions Bank is a great way to celebrate the innovation that took place in southern Illinois during the COVID pandemic. “

Open to new or expanding business concepts

The contest is open to people with business ideas in Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, Randolph or Williamson counties. Applicants cannot be affiliated with government entities, non-profit organizations, public or private schools, or universities and colleges. Participants must register and then submit a full business plan and 90-second introductory video by November 12. There are a few simple criteria for business plans. To enter the plans must be:

  • A small start-up or existing for-profit business offering innovative ideas, products or services with an identified market need and commercialization potential. Pre-business entrepreneurs can also participate.
  • Focus on new ideas or expansion opportunities, not current business operations.
  • Is not involved in cannabis, gambling, or lobbying activities, or in any activity prohibited by state or federal law.

For more information on the Business Plan Competition, as well as how to register, visit

The competition is sponsored by Regions Bank in partnership with the Southern Illinois University Foundation, the Illinois Small Business Development Center, SIU Research Park, and SIU Business Incubator.

“A solid business plan is essential for any business that wants to be successful. This competition is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs in southern Illinois to put together a solid business plan, develop a solid business case and compete for funding, ”said Greg Bouhl, Director of Entrepreneurship and commercial development of the SIU. “The Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU is a strong partner in the competition as we provide free business advice, including business plan assistance, to competition entrants and any small business. who needs help. “

Joe Wargo of Joe’s Station House in Normal said promoting employee membership was worth higher wages.

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