Three small businesses "Step-It-Up" during the Business Accelerator Program

Madison, Wis. (Oct. 17, 2011) — Three small businesses were honored recently for their participation in a program designed to help them with critical skills needed to help them succeed. The Step-It-Up Competition examined the efforts by small businesses to demonstrate their prowess over the course of the 2011 Business Accelerator Program, a free resource presented by American Family Insurance.

Award winners were transported to Chicago for a night on the town and peer recognition at the Business Accelerator symposium at the European Crystal Banquet and Conference Centre, Arlington Heights, Ill.

"One of the biggest barriers to small business growth and success is the prohibitive cost of professional help, but American Family is helping to remove this barrier through our Business Accelerator Program," says Euan Ford, multicultural marketing strategist with American Family Insurance. "Supporting the dreams of small business owners is what this program is all about. It's exciting to see people creating and achieving their dreams due to the knowledge and mentoring our program provides."

The three small businesses were selected as Step-It-Up winners based on their active level of participation over the course of the six-month program. This included attending the spring symposium, joining webinars and entering contests sponsored by the program. The winners include:

The Business Accelerator Program is a national, online program available for viewing live or on-demand. Small business education is delivered via symposiums, webinars, e-tips, small learning groups and an online coaching forum. The series addresses topics critical to small businesses, including marketing, sales, finance and growth. Participants learn to generate more business, increase profitability and effectively manage their businesses.

Winners of the Business Accelerator Step-It-Up Competition received an extensive prize package including advanced sales training from the Wright Business Institute, marketing strategy planning from Hi-Impact Marketing & Sales Solutions, small business social media education from Forward Progress and a $500 gift card from Staples.

To register, or for more information on the Business Accelerator Program from American Family Insurance, please visit


Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family Mutual Insurance Company is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company. Web:; Facebook:; Twitter: