Microsoft has launched a new campaign inviting New Zealand’s small businesses to share their stories via inspirational videos for the chance to win cash prizes, business support tools and a free publicity package to promote their enterprise. Heather Gordon, SMB sales and marketing manager for Microsoft New Zealand, says the campaign aims to ‘reward the hard work and support the growth of small businesses which create jobs and help New Zealand communities thrive’. “Over 97% of businesses in New Zealand are small to medium sized, and as such are the backbone of the country and the economy,” she says. Gordon says small businesses of all kinds and sizes are encouraged to enter by making a two-minute video telling their small business story. “Starting and growing a business is no easy task because you have to take risks, push the envelope and solve problems every day,” Gordon says. “This is why we want to hear your stories – your dreams, the ups, the downs, the challenges and the victories – and share them with the wider business community.” Gordon says the objective of the campaign is to recognise the best, most inspirational and original video that showcases a small business start-up story and that also inspires other entrepreneurs, new or existing, and motivates them to excel. “We are not looking for professional videos, so it’s easy to enter. You can download a do-it-yourself video editing app or simply record yourself using a camera, cell phone or webcam, then simply upload your video to YouTube and share the link with us.” The Grand Prize includes $5000 cash, a business publicity package, Surface Pro 3 devices and a Business Growth Support programme from business incubator company The Icehouse. Entries will be accepted from now until 30th April 2015. Microsoft says its partner companies that are SMBs are especially encouraged to enter, but the competition is open to all SMBs across the country.