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BBVA Compass Rewards Entrepreneurs' Ingenuity With Two $10,000 Grand Prizes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- BBVA Compass today announced the winners of its Great Ideas for Small Business contest on Facebook, awarding two $10,000 grand prizes to help a pair of budding businesses grow.

The Green Bottle Candle Company, founded by Carmen Wooten Preston of Birmingham, Ala., was voted the top idea by Facebook fans. The company partners with local restaurants to repurpose wine bottles as containers for small-batch natural soy candles.

Ed Adkins of Truth or Consequences, N.M., secured the top vote from a panel of bank judges for his Centipede Sawhorse, a portable, heavy duty base created for use as a sawhorse or workbench during construction and renovation projects.

Launched in October via an app on BBVA Compass' Facebook page, the Great Ideas for Small Business contest provided a platform for small business owners and entrepreneurs to promote their business ideas for a chance to win one of two $10,000 prizes. Forty-six "great ideas" qualified for the contest and were narrowed to five finalists, which were then put to a vote on Facebook and scored by a panel of bank judges.

Preston said she plans to use her prize to build on the exposure the contest gave her company.

"I have been trying to move forward with my business for some time, but funding has been difficult to secure as a mom-and-pop startup," Preston said. "The $10,000 award will help me to better brand my company by creating a marketing campaign. I also plan to enter a trade show to continue to establish my company."

Adkins impressed the panel of BBVA Compass judges with the implementation plan for his Centipede Sawhorse and the product's potentially broad appeal.

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