Official Rules

Updated: April 4, 2013


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Visa U.S.A. Inc. (Visa) (collectively the “Cosponsors”) are cosponsoring an export video contest that seeks to inform small businesses about the advantages of exporting and increase awareness of government assistance available to support small business exporters.  The Cosponsors are looking for creative videos from small businesses that show how they became successful exporters.  Videos can focus on how the small business became a successful exporter.  Videos must highlight at least one of the following: important lessons learned; factors that influenced the decision to become an exporter; advice for small businesses considering exporting; or a favorite exporting story.

Important Dates

Submission Period: 12:00 pm EDT, February 25, 2013 to 5:00 pm EDT, April 22, 2013.

Judging Period: April 23 – April 26, 2013

Winners Announced: No later than May, 31, 2013.


The Cosponsors of the Contest are the U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20416, (SBA) and Visa U.S.A. Inc., (Visa) P.O. Box 8999, San Francisco, CA 94128-8999.  The Cosponsors make all decisions related to the development, management, and implementation of the Contest.

How to Enter the Contest

Interested persons should read these Official Rules before entering the Contest. 

All Contest participants must submit their video through the portal.  Please note, in order to submit a video, Contest participants will first need to register and create an account with 

Contest participants must:

  1. Prior to submitting a video, register with  Registration is free.
  2. From the Contest webpage on, use the “Enter a Submission” tab to submit:
    1. The title of your video;
    2. A text description of your video
    3. A link to your video on or;
    4. Consent forms for video producer and any other person or music appearing in your video.
  3. Once a video is submitted, the Contest participant cannot make any changes or alterations to any part of the Submission.
  4. After submission, all videos will be screened by SBA for compliance with Video Submission Requirements.
  5. Eligible Submissions will be posted on the contest webpage on a rolling basis.  Submissions failing to meet Video Submission Requirements will be deemed ineligible to win a prize.  Posting a video to the Contest website does not constitute SBA and/or Visa’s final determination of Contest participant or video eligibility.
  6. A Submission will not be considered complete and eligible to win prizes without Video Consent Forms [PDF] uploaded for each individual that appears in the Video.  All completed Video Consent Forms must include a handwritten signature, be scanned and combined into a single file (ZIP) and uploaded as part of the submission on


Five prizes are available:

  • First place: $10,000 cash award
  • Second place: $8,000 cash award
  • Third place: $6,000 cash award
  • Fourth place: $4,000 cash award
  • Fifth place: $2,000 cash award

The winners of these prizes (collectively, “Winners”) will be announced no later than May 31, 2013.  Only one prize will be awarded for each winning submission, regardless of the number of Contest participants that created the winning video.  Visa will issue the prizes directly to the Winners.

The Cosponsors (SBA and VISA) may choose to cohost an awards ceremony to announce the Winners.  To the extent the Cosponsors cohost an awards ceremony, Winners that choose to travel to such award ceremony for the announcement of the Winners will each receive $1,000 for travel expenses per winning entry, regardless of the number of Contest participants that created the winning video.  Any necessary travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the Winner.  Winner will not receive $1,000 for travel expenses if the Cosponsors do not cohost an awards ceremony or if Winner does not attend the awards ceremony.

All federal, state and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the Winner.


Judging Panels

Prior to judging, all Submissions will be screened for Contest participant eligibility and video eligibility.

The members of the Judging Panel will be selected by SBA in its sole discretion and will be comprised of senior officials from SBA, Visa, and other member Federal Agencies from the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Small Business Working Group.  Each judge will serve on a volunteer basis.  Each Judge will be screened by SBA to ensure he/she does not: (1) have a personal or financial interest in any Contest participant; or (2) have a familial relationship with a Contest participant.

Judging Criteria

The Judging Panel will rate each Submission approved by the screening panel on the following criteria:

  • Inspirational nature of the message for potential exporters and effectiveness in promoting exporting
  • Creativity and uniqueness of video concept
  • Value of lessons learned/communicated
  • Use of U.S. Government program/service
  • Innovative means of delivering the message
  • Audio and visual quality of the video

Winners will be selected based on an overall score. The finalist with the highest overall score will win the first place prize; the finalist with the second highest overall score will win the second place prize; and so on until the fifth place prize is determined.  All judging is in SBA’s sole discretion and all decisions are final.  In the event of a tie, the Winner will be selected at the discretion of the SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade.

If no eligible videos are received the Cosponsors reserve the right not to offer a prize.  The Cosponsors also reserve the right to not select a winner or post the video on Internet sites like YouTube, and if none of the entries received are judged to be high quality based on the requirements of these Official Rules.

Contest Participant Eligibility

The contest is open to small businesses in the United States and its territories including, but not limited to, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam. You must be a small business as determined by SBA's size standards (; have successfully completed at least one export transaction; and used at least one Federal program or service to support an export transaction.  The small business owner(s) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old to enter and win the Contest.  Small businesses who have won any prize in the SBA Visa Export Video Contest within the past two years are not eligible.  Eligible small businesses may submit only one video.

Any videos developed with federal funding, either grant, contract, or loan proceeds, are not eligible to win.

Federal employees and their immediate families, Visa U.S.A. Inc. employees and their immediate families, current SBA contractors and SBA grant recipients may enter the Contest but are not eligible to win. “Immediate family members” include spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws”, or by current or past marriage, remarriage, adoption, co-habitation or other familial extension, and any other persons residing at the same household location, whether or not related.

Video Submission Requirements

In order for a video to be eligible to enter or win this Contest, the entry must meet the following requirements:

  1. Contest participants must create an original video. 
  2. Contest participants must end their video with the following words: “That’s my exporting story. Where will your next customer come from?”.  This statement can be spoken, written, embedded or delivered in any appropriate way deemed effective by the submitter.
  3. All videos must have a unique title or they will not be judged. i.e., not “My Export Story”.
  4. Videos must highlight one of the following: important lessons learned; factors that influenced the decision to become an exporter; advice for small businesses considering exporting; or a favorite exporting story.
  5. Videos must be 3 minutes or less (no more than 180 seconds) in length and produced in a high-resolution format.
  6. Videos must be educational, not promotional in nature (i.e., a commercial for the small business’ products or services).  Videos should tell a story.
  7. Only one video may be submitted per business
  8. Videos must not contain violence, profanity, sex, images of a prurient nature, or direct attacks on individuals or organizations.  SBA will disqualify any entries it deems to contain offensive material.
  9. Do not use the SBA seal or logo or the Visa trademark in your video.
  10. The video must be the contest participant’s own original creation and must not infringe on any third party rights. No copyrighted music, video, or images may be used in submissions to this contest without appropriate permission. Entrants are responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions. Videos previously developed for other organizations may be submitted.  Videos must not have been previously produced for compensation, posted on any SBA page, or submitted to SBA prior to the contest.
  11. All videos must be submitted through by 5pm EDT on April 22, 2013.   Submissions will be accepted starting at 12pm EDT on February 25, 2013.
  12. Winners must provide a copy of the original video file of their Video to SBA and a transcript of words spoken or sung in the video. Winners will be contacted by email to provide the original video and transcript.
  13. All Contest submissions must adhere to the Standards of Conduct (
  14. Questions can be posted in the Forums or emailed to

Copyright/Intellectual Property

By submitting this video to the SBA-Visa Export Video Contest 2013, each Contest participant warrants he or she is the creator of and owner of the video, that the video is wholly original, and that it does not infringe any copyright or any other rights of any third party.

All videos submitted to the SBA-Visa Export Video Contest 2013 remain the intellectual property of the small business owners that created the video.  By registering and entering a video, however, the Contest participant agrees that the Cosponsors reserve a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free nonexclusive worldwide license to copy, distribute, modify, display and perform publicly and otherwise use, and authorize others to use, his or her video for any educational purpose throughout the world and in any media.  The Cosponsors each reserve the right to make any video entered in the Contest available to the general public from its respective web sites and social media pages and to distribute it to groups and any other organizations interested in showing it for educational purposes, including, but not limited to, Internet sites, conferences and events, on television, and other media outlets.

Verification of Potential Winners

All potential Contest winners are subject to verification by the Cosponsors whose decisions are final and binding in all matters relating to the contest.  Potential winners must comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements contained herein.  Potential winners will be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility/liability release and federal tax form, and return these documents, properly executed, via fax, within 48 hours of notification and via U.S. Mail within 5 days of date of issuance of notification. Non-compliance within this time frame and/or with these Official Rules; Cosponsors’ inability to contact potential winner within a reasonable time period; or prize or prize notification returned as undeliverable will result in such potential winner’s disqualification and, at the Cosponsors’ discretion, the prize may be awarded to a potential alternate winner. Winners will be notified via e-mail no later than May 31, 2013 and announced at a later date.  Winner’s name(s) will also be posted on the Contest and/or SBA and Visa websites.  In the event that a Winner is disqualified for any reason, SBA may award the applicable recognition to an alternate Contest participant. 


Participation in the Contest constitutes consent to the Cosponsors’ and their agents’ use of Contest winners’ name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.

Liability and Insurance

The Contest participant shall be liable for, and indemnify and hold harmless the Federal government and Visa U.S.A. Inc. against, all actions or claims, including but not limited to those for loss of or damage to property resulting from the fault, negligence, or wrongful act or omission of the contest participant.

The Contest participant agrees to assume any and all risks and waive any and all claims against SBA, the Federal government and its related entities and Visa U.S.A. Inc., except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from his or her participation in this Contest, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

The Contest participant attests that neither he or she, nor any member of his or her household, is a party to litigation involving SBA, including administrative proceedings, or is a party to any protest before SBA regarding status as a women-owned small business, economically disadvantaged women-owned small business, service disabled veteran owned small business, small disadvantaged business, small business, or HUBZone small business.

The Contest participant attests that neither he or she, nor any member of his or her household, is a party to litigation involving Visa U.S.A. Inc., including its parents and subsidiaries.

The Contest participant attests that all statements made in the video are true to the best of his or her knowledge.

By entering this Contest, the Contest participant attests that he or she is at least eighteen (18) years of age and is competent to contract in his or her own name.  Contest participant also attests that he or she has read the Official Rules before entering this contest, and fully understand the contents, meaning and impact of the Official Rules.

Based on the subject matter of the Contest, the type of work that it will possibly require, and the likelihood of any claims for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss potentially resulting from contest participation, Contest participants are not required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate fiscal responsibility in order to participate in this Contest.

Applicable Law

This Contest is subject to all applicable Federal laws and regulations.


The Cosponsors and their agents are not responsible for:

  1. Any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Contest participants, printing errors, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest;
  2. Technical failure of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software;
  3. Unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Contest;
  4. Technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; or
  5. Any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Contest participant’s participation in the Contest or receipt, use or misuse of any prize.

If for any reason a Contest participant’s entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, the contest participant’s sole remedy is another entry in the Contest.

General Conditions

The Cosponsors reserve the right at any time, for any reason, to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Contest, or any part of it.  

Participation constitutes each Contest participant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and administrative decisions which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. This Contest notice is not an obligation of funds.

Privacy Policy

Any personal information collected from video submitters to the SBA-Visa Export Video Contest 2013 will never be sold. The information collected for this Contest will only be used for purposes of the Contest to contact video submitters in direct relation to the Contest.  The Contest winners’ names will be announced publicly as a part of SBA’s contest award recognition process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What constitutes “immediate family?”

A: “Immediate family members” shall include spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws”, or by current or past marriage, remarriage, adoption, co-habitation or other familial extension, and any other persons residing at the same household location, whether or not related.

Q: Can videos be submitted that have already been released to news organizations and other groups?

A: Yes, although we seek to have the development of new videos, the rules exclude videos that have been previously been published for compensation or any video that would infringe on third party rights. All videos, regardless of when published, must meet all the contest criteria in order to be eligible (i.e. length). 

Authorization #13-2110-41. SBA’s participation in this Cosponsored Activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Anyone requiring reasonable accommodations or assistance in order to participate in the Contest may email: