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REDC celebrates its 30th anniversary with a $30,000 business competition series for New Hampshire entrepreneurs.

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REDC is pleased to announce Riddlehaven Escape Rooms the winner of the THRIVE Business Plan Competition. The $5,000 grant award will help this small business start and grow.


Riddlehaven Escape Rooms aspires to bring a unique entertainment experience to the city of Dover, NH. Their mission is to create unforgettable escape games that captivate players and offer an engaging activity for groups of friends, family, and coworkers to connect, collaborate, and celebrate together. The creative team behind Riddlehaven, owner Kim Willoughby and partner Will Willoughby, have 50 combined years of creative writing, marketing, and design experience. 


REDC President Laurel Adams stated, "We are delighted to be a part of Riddlehaven's start-up journey by awarding them this grant. Though it was a challenging competition with many amazing small businesses in the running, Riddlehaven's business plan was extremely well executed and compelling."


This competition was the first of four in the THRIVE Competition Series, which is a program designed to commemorate REDC's 30th anniversary as well as provide money and momentum to help growing small businesses thrive in New Hampshire. REDC will award a total of $30,000 in grant prizes through four different competitions.


REDC will be announcing details for the next THRIVE Competition later this summer.


REDC would like to thank Ericka Canales, Executive Director of Coös Economic Development Corporation; Dwight Davis, Owner and Operator of Senior Helpers of Southern New Hampshire; and John Nyhan, President of Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce for serving as judges in this competition.

Subscribe to our newsletter to learn about upcoming business competitions in the future.


The Regional Economic Development Center (REDC) is pleased to announce a series of business competitions that will provide money and momentum to help growing small businesses thrive. To commemorate its 30th anniversary, REDC will award a total of $30,000 in grant prizes through four different competitions.


All New Hampshire businesses at any stage in their business are invited to submit applications to the Business Plan Competition, the first in the Thrive Competition Series. The submission deadline is May 31, 2024, 5:00 pm Eastern Time. This competition series will be virtual, so there are no travel requirements for applicants.


Applicants will submit their written business plan, which shall not exceed fifteen pages/slides. The business plan competition will be judged virtually by experts in various fields of economic development, and the winner will receive a $5,000 award to grow their business.  


Business plans must include a statement on how funds will be used to further grow the business. At a minimum, business plans should include an executive summary, company description, management team and personnel, products/services offered, competitive landscaping and marketing plan, financial plan, and use of funds.


Applicants can access eligibility requirements, frequently asked questions and answers, and resources, which can be found at These resources will assist applicants in developing their business plans and provide information on additional programs their business may be interested in accessing.


The Q&A Webinar has passed, which was on May 15th.

The winner will be announced on June 26, 2024.

Questions can be submitted to



Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria to be considered for the Business Plan Competition:


  • The business must be based in New Hampshire and primarily operate in New Hampshire.

  • The business must be registered for-profit with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

  • The business owner(s) must be 18 years of age or older.

  • Previous competition winners will be ineligible for subsequent competitions. Past applicants who did not win are welcome to apply again.

  • Current REDC loan clients are ineligible.

  • All applications and business plans must be the original work of the small business submitting.

  • Businesses may only submit one business plan for review.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does my business need to be a start-up?

A: No, this is for businesses at any stage. They only need to be a registered business with the New Hampshire Secretary of State and primarily operate in NH.


Q: Does my business need to have earned revenue?

A: No, we will accept pre-revenue applicants.

Q: Is there an entry fee?

A: No, it is free to apply to the competition.

Q: Where can I get assistance writing a business plan?

A: View our resources below to see partner organizations that have business advisors who can counsel your business.

Q: Are there restrictions on how the award funds are used?

A: The award is intended to help your business start or grow. Business plans must include a statement on how you will use the funds to further grow your business.

Q: What needs to be included in my business plan?

A: At a minimum, your plan should include an: executive summary, company description, management team and personnel, products/services offered, competitive landscaping and marketing plan, financial plan, and use of funds. 

Still have questions about the competition? Please submit your questions to and a staff member will be in touch shortly.




Are you looking for advice on how to write a business plan? The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SCORE NH, and Center for Women & Enterprise have advisors who assist small businesses with business plan development. While REDC can provide assistance with business plan development for clients seeking assistance with financing, we will not be doing so for applicants of this competition.

New Hampshire Small Business Development Center (SBDC)



Center for Women & Enterprise

How-To and Templates

Are you looking for advice on how to write a business plan? The New Hampshire Small Business Development

U.S. Small Business Administration's How to Write Your Business Plan

SCORE Business Plan Template for Startup Business

SCORE Business Plan Template for Established Business

NH SBDC Sample Business Plan Outline

HubSpot Business Plan Samples

Q&A Webinar

Registration for this event is closed.


On May 15th at 10:00 am, REDC hosted a Q&A webinar for businesses to learn more about the competition and ask questions. 

Q&A Webinar

REDC Programs

REDC has a variety of resources for small businesses. Here are some of our programs, which are not related to the THRIVE Competition Series, but can help your business grow. 

Alternative Financing

We aim to assist new and growing businesses that may have barriers to traditional capital. Through a variety of lending programs, we work with our clients to find the best financing program for them.

Learn More



Kiva is an international nonprofit that connects online lenders to entrepreneurs through an online lending platform. Crowdfund loans unlock capital for underserved communities and those experiencing underlying barriers to capital access.


REDC is the Kiva Hub for New Hampshire. We assist you with the Kiva process and application.

Learn More

New Americans Loan Fund

In partnership with stakeholders throughout NH, the Regional Economic Development Center (REDC) offers the NH New Americans Loan Fund, with the purpose of encouraging business development and job creation for new Americans, (first generation immigrants) in New Hampshire.

Learn More

Business Advising

Our Business Advisors will counsel on business development and financial planning. Advising is also available for identifying lending partners, taxation, partnerships, agreements, job creation, and ongoing support post-financing.

Learn More


Graphic Design & Marketing Advisement

Our Design Advisor assists small businesses graphic design and marketing advisement, which may include logo design, branding, marketing materials, social media development, or website development assistance.

Learn More

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