The St. Louis County Economic Council's 2012 St. Louis Regional Business Plan Competition is underway. The competition includes $100,000 in prize money and Macoupin County entrepreneurs are invited to take part.

"We have so many innovative entrepreneurs in Macoupin County. I hope our start-up businesses will submit their plans," said Shari Albrecht Executive Director of Macoupin Economic Development Partnership.

To participate, applicants must complete and submit an online application and an agreement and statement of certification by 5 p.m. on June 4. The necessary forms are available at

The top three winners receive cash awards totaling $100,000. Cash prizes are accompanied by valuable in-kind professional services (accounting, legal, marketing, mentoring).

The competition encourages plans for new businesses and early stage companies.

Judges will rely on the following criteria in judging the business plans: Innovative nature, creativity; feasibility and marketability; funding; quality of product or service; growth potential; adaptation to change; strength of management team; and internal organization.

To learn more about the competition, visit

Source: St. Louis American, March 8, 2012

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