Who is eligible to apply for the Spark Award?

Entrepreneurs, business owners, or startup founders 35 years or younger—or individuals of any  age, but with businesses that have been established within the last 36 months. Organizations must have at least a B rating with BBB and have met their financial obligations. Government agencies are not eligible. Organizations must be within BBB Cincinnati’s service area, which includes the following counties:


Indiana—Dearborn, Ohio, Ripley, Switzerland


Kentucky—Boone, Campbell, Kenton


Ohio—Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Gallia, Hamilton, Highland, Jackson, Pike, Lawrence, Scioto, Warren

Do you need to be Accredited to apply?

No. You do need to have at least a B rating with BBB.

How are winners chosen?

Entries are evaluated by a volunteer panel of judges based on the application and materials submitted.

What about the video?

We just want to meet your team. Virtually introduce yourselves, safely, in consideration of COVID-19 precautions. Rally your team for a group video chat and record it, or submit a collection of quick cell phone videos. Whatever you do, it should be no more than 2 minutes max, and don’t worry about quality. Just tell us who you are and why you should win the Spark Award. Put it on YouTube/Dropbox and add it to your application. If chosen as a winner, BBB will use your video for future promotional purposes.

What about the supporting documents?

It’s not necessary to provide any. But if you want to add any photos, videos or documents—like employee testimonials, client testimonials, policies, leader communications, etc.—to your responses, go right ahead!

What's the deadline for applying?

September 10, 2020.

When will winners be announced?

Spark Award winners will be celebrated during Startup Week (October 26–30), and again with the 2020 Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics.