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2017 soe awardssoe buy tickets The Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation’s Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards™ are designed to recognize the contributions of outstanding women entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties to the economy as well as to support future economic growth through the recognition, financial support, and education of student entrepreneurs. In a very real way, we honor women entrepreneurs for the benefit of student entrepreneurs.

Working with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship at Santa Barbara City College, the Foundation provides prizes (in the form of seed capital), and scholarships top three high school and collegiate student entrepreneurs (or teams of students) who win the Scheinfeld Center's New Venture Challenge business pitch competition.

The gala Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards Dinner Dinner will be held on Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Coral Casino of the Four Seasons Biltmore from 5:30-8:30 PM. Prior to the SOE Awards dinner the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Startup Showcase will be held on the patio from 5:30- 6:15 pm. This will feature all finalists of the Scheinfeld Center's New Venture Challenge, in addition to the winners, at both the high school and collegiate level.

lynda weinmanWe are thrilled to say that Lynda Weinman, co-founder and former executive chair of and an amazing role model, will be our MC for our 7th annual event.

Special thanks to Montecito Bank & Trust, Southern California Edison, Bank of the West, Cox Communications, and our many other amazing sponsors for helping to underwriting student awards for the 2016 Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards, where a total of $14,000 were given to the winning students as seed money and scholarships.

This year we will be honoring outstanding women entrepreneurs in 12 categories. In addition to beautiful crystal awards from Tiffany, one of the winners who has been in business for less than 5 years will receive a special cash grant from our new Successful Entrepreneurs Giving Back Award. More information can be found in our FAQ page.

Meet Pamela Webber, the 2017 Rock Star: Life Achievement Award Winner

pam webberThe Spirit of Entrepreneurship (SOE) Foundation is pleased to announce Pamela Webber of Santa Barbara Hotel Group as the 2017 Rock Star: Life Achievement Award recipient. This award is presented to a successful woman entrepreneur who has made an indelible impact on our community. Moving here from England in the 1950s with her husband and four-year-old daughter, Pam knew nothing about the hotel industry. Today the Santa Barbara Hotel Group remains family-owned and includes five unique properties with 367 guestrooms and 225 employees. She has devoted much of her life to making Santa Barbara a tourist destination by creating the Santa Barbara Scenic Drive and co-founded the Visit Santa Barbara Committee. She became known as the "First Lady" of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce, as their first female member and established the city's waste reduction and cleanup program, Looking Good Santa Barbara. Although she's now in her 80s, Pamela still goes in to work every day.

Pam will be honored along with the winners in the other 11 categories at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards Dinner will be held on Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Coral Casino from 6-8:30 pm. Click on the button at the top of the page to buy your ticket now.

Below are the winners of our hugely successful 6th annual Awards:

2016 winners

Learn more about the student winners here »

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards™ Photos

event photos To see a slideshow by Linda Blue from the 2016 SOE Awards, click here »

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards™ Video

Watch the video of the 2016 Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards Ceremony by Lisa Angle of, click here »

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards™ Press

• Santa Barbara News Press

For information about making a contribution to the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation, a 501(c) corporation, please call 805-682-8380.