Nominations are in, and the voting is down to the final week in the “Small Business Influencer 2011″ awards, produced by Small Business Trends and Small Biz Technology. Small Business Influencer 2011 is meant to honor companies, organizations, and people who, "…have made a significant impact on the North American small business market," according to the awards website.
Nominees are divided into five categories, including: News Outlets, Corporations, Journalists, Leaders, and Gurus. The general public is able to vote for as many nominees in each category they'd like, once every 24 hours. Once public voting is over (August 9, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PDT), a panel of all-star small business judges will cast their votes. The community vote counts for 40% and the Judges’ vote counts for 60%. The top 100 Small Business Influencers will be announced in mid-August.
We're excited to have been nominated for this award and want to congratulate all the nominees! We'd also like to show our support for our picks. We actually have a few favorites in each category, but here are a few of the companies and individuals we're happy to support and root for.
Devesh Dwivedi — In the interest of full disclosure, Devesh is a guest author for YE. But that's not the reason we're voting for him (well not the only reason!). Devesh is what Young Entrepreneur is all about. He started his first business when he was just 14 years old and since then has started and run many profitable businesses. As it says on the awards site, Devesh Dwivedi is an advocate of entrepreneurship, and that's why we want you to support him. Twitter: @break9to5jail
AWeber — With over 100,000 customers, AWeber Communications has stepped up as one of the most popular opt-in email marketing tools around. The company is a friend to small businesses and entrepreneurs from around the world who use AWeber's simple-to-use, affordable email marketing platform to grow their businesses. 7-day-a-week customer support, a drag-and-drop web form generator with hundreds of templates, and free email marketing educational resources make AWeber our top pick in this category. Twitter: @aweber
YoungEntrepreneur.com — You didn't think we'd ask you to vote for someone else did you? For 12 years now, Young Entrepreneur has served startup CEOs, founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors and investors worldwide, providing high quality content and support to young entrepreneurs of all ages. In addition to our blog and news sections, the YE forum is the largest of its kind, with thousands of fellow entrepreneurs giving and getting advice on every entrepreneurial topic imaginable. We're honored to be nominated, and we'd appreciate your vote. Twitter: @YoungTrep
Gabriel Shaoolian — Another of our guest authors, Gabriel Shaoolian is a true inspiration. He has proven that an entrepreneur with the right vision and a drive to succeed can accomplish amazing things. As we highlighted in a recent blog post, Gabriel started his company, Blue Fountain Media, from scratch, with no outside funding, and no employees, and he grew it to be one of the premier web development companies in the US. As an entrepreneurial leader, we think he's an outstanding example to follow. Twitter: @BFMweb
Brian Clark — Want to be successful with an online business or blog? Brian Clark is the one to follow. Brian is the founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media, a serial entrepreneur, and, as he puts it, a "recovering attorney." Brian was ranked third of the 100 Most Influential Online Marketers of 2009, and Copyblogger tops Ad Age's Power150 list in the marketing blog category. Maybe he doesn't need more recognition, but it's well deserved! Twitter: @copyblogger
So there you have it: just a few of our favorites for the Small Business Influencer 2011 awards. Be sure to vote in each category and vote often! (You can vote once every 24 hours.) Again, congratulations to all the nominees!