Monday marked the beginning of National Small Business Week, a commemoration and celebration of entrepreneurial efforts big and small.
"Employing millions of Americans and creating nearly two out of three new jobs, America's small businesses are the backbone of our economy," President Obama said in a statement at the onset of the festivities.
The kickoff event may have been held at Twitter's grand headquarters in San Francisco, but there are plenty more lower-key--but no less important--activities to come.
A Challenge for Startups
The Small Business Administration launched a $2.5 million competition to help fund startups and small businesses. Entrepreneurs have until Aug. 2 to apply for the individual prizes, worth $50,000 apiece.
"The basic tenet is simple: the startup world and a portfolio's survival is driven by a game of numbers," the agency said in a statement. "More quality startups supported by more well-funded entrepreneurial ecosystems leads to successful startups growing into competitive, exciting and high-value job creators."
Applications for the prizes can be filled out here.
A New Small-Business Community
Google celebrated the start of Small Business Week by launching its own small-business community on Google+. So far, more than 10,600 members have joined. "After this week, the Google Small Business Community will continue providing information and inspiration," Google community manager Jade Wang said, promising training, hangouts and posts are on the horizon. You can meet the moderators of the group or dive right into the discussion here.
Events to Participate in
At 2 p.m. ET today, the Internal Revenue Service will host a free webinar to explain the ins and outs of 1099 filing requirements and withholding, along with a Q&A session.
Later in the day, at 4 p.m., in another webinar, the Small Business Administration will delve into the intricacies of offering benefits packages that help out both employees and businesses. On Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, the SBA and PayPal will host an event titled “How Can Technology and Collaboration Drive More Sales for Small Businesses?” which will be streamed online. In-person events this week will be held in Kansas City, Mo.; Boston; and Washington, D.C.
Keep track of future events via the SBA's website.