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Jonathan Erickson

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Small Biz Meets 'American Idol', or Being Grungy Can Pay Off

August 19, 2008

Somehow I missed last year's Home-Based 100, an event I can best describe as "Small Business Meets American Idol". Sponsored by StartupNation, this is the second annual search for the top home-based businesses in the country.

The StartupNation Home-Based 100 is composed of 10 categories:

  • Best Financial Performers
  • Most Innovative
  • Boomers Back in Business
  • Greenest
  • Yummiest
  • Wackiest
  • Grungiest
  • Recession Busters
  • Most Glamorous

I have dibbs on the "Grungiest", but I'll leave "Most Glamorous" to you. To enter the Grungiest category, grease, grime, dirt, oil, tar, goop, soot, or any combination must be a reality in your daily home-business life. Yes, that certainly sounds like my home office. Last year's Grungiest winner was Doug Knippel's Northwest Redworms , a business that's all about redworm composting to break down organic consumer waste products.

According to the Small Business Administration, more than half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner's home, and home-based businesses contribute more than $530 billion to the U.S. economy each year. With more than 19 million entrepreneurs currently running a business from home, most experts believe this trend is at an all-time high.

"Home-based businesses are a growing and vital force in the U.S. economy, and the Home-Based 100 has established itself as the leading voice for recognizing and encouraging home-based business success,"says Microsoft's Michael Schultz. "Many of today's leading companies, including Microsoft, claim 'home' as their birthplace, and we are proud to join with StartupNation to recognize the future of entrepreneurship." Along with FedEx, Microsoft is a sponsor of the Home-Based 100 ranking.

To participate, your business must be home-based and have a business website. You can enter your business until September 30, 2008. Winners will be announced in mid-November, 2008. You can enter here.



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