Open to any woman business owner in Santa Barbara and Ventura County. Nominations close March 5.
SOE Awards Submission
Award submission forms are available to all nominees Feb-March 12.
Our awards dinner is hosted on May 4 for all finalists at the Hilton SB Beachfront Resort.
For more information go to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-682-8380.
The goal of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards is to support entrepreneurship at all levels in our region. This is accomplished by honoring successful women entrepreneurs for the benefit of high school and college student entrepreneurs.
The Awards are open to any woman business owner in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. *To qualify a woman must own a significant percentage of the business and/or be a founder. For nonprofits, she must be a founder. Since there is only one award in each category, if a business has multiple women owners, the Spirit of Entrepreneur Foundation recommends that the most active owner be nominated.
 The community are invited to propose nominations, and prospective candidates also have the option to self-nominate. You may nominate yourself or someone else and select multiple categories if you are unsure which one you belong in. Once the nomination is processed, the nominee will be sent a link to the application form to fill out. If you are nominating someone, she will not be told who has nominated her. The nomination form will be considered confidential.
 Each nominee then fills out an application designed with business-specific criteria to assist the judges in assessing the candidates.
The following categories are available:
- Agriculture & Wineries
- Emerging Business (1-5 yrs. old)
- Green - Social Entrepreneur
- Health & Wellnes
- Hospitality & Tourism
- Media & Communication
- Nonprofit (must be a founder of the organization)
- Professional Services
- Science & Technology
- Wholesale, Manufacturing & Global Trade
- Rock Star: Life Achievement (pre-selected)
To maintain the integrity of the Awards, the top nominees are selected by independent judges, all seasoned entrepreneurs, and business executives, who live outside of Santa Barbara. The judges evaluate each candidate based on their applications and the nominee with the highest number of points was the winner in her category. The top three nominees became the finalists and are also included here.
 The winners are announced at the awards evening in May.
Each Award winner will receive:
- An engraved crystal Award from Tiffany to display in her business,
- Featured on a page dedicated to Award winners on the SOEFoundation.org website,
- Recognition and promotional opportunities to showcase her business throughout the year.
The proceeds from the awards event are used to provide financial support (in the form of seed capital) and scholarships to SB County high school and college students help them to develop their aspiring businesses and continue their education.
The students are the winners of SBCC’s Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge business pitch competition.
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards Dinner is the main focus of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation.
We have increased our support for student entrepreneurs by hosting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Startup Showcase prior to the dinner to introduce all the finalists from the New Venture Challenge to our attendees and others in the community.
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards™ are open to any woman business owner or nonprofit Executive Director Founder in Santa Barbara and Ventura County, regardless of the size of her business.
You must meet one of more of the following:
- Founder or Co-Founder and still working in the business or nonprofit
- Owner of a significant percentage of the business
The Nomination Form is available on the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation website on the Nominations drop down menu and can be filled out online.
The 2018 categories are:
[VIEW ALL DESCRIPTIONS]
- Agriculture & Wineries
- Emerging Business (1-5 yrs old)
- Green-Social Entrepreneur
- Health & Wellness
- Hospitality & Tourism
- Media & Communication
- Must be a founder of the organization
- Professional Services
Businesses providing a service in any field, e.g., building, consulting, financial, legal, real estate, etc.
- Wholesale/Manufacturing/Global Trade
If you have been in business less than three years, you can enter the Emerging Business Category regardless of what type of business you have.
Otherwise, select the business category that seems most logical. If you aren't sure, you may select multiple categories or just include that in your space for your business description or contact us at email@example.com or call 805-682-8380.
Either option is available. You can nominate yourself or someone else. All nominations will be considered. However, please only submit one form per nominee.
The Foundation partners with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Santa Barbara City College, which selects the three student winners at both the high school level and City College level through their New Venture Challenge, a one-day business pitch competition.
The Foundation provides the six winners with prizes in the form of seed money to support their successful business plan.
The Foundation will also host the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Startup Showcase immediately prior to the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner. All the finalists, not just the winners, for both levels of Scheinfeld’s New Venture Challenge competition will be given tables to display and pitch their products and services in the patio. This is another part of our effort to promote entrepreneurship.
In addition, scholarships to any four-year college or university are available to all the winning students.
The winning students, their parents and teachers as well as all the student finalists attend the Awards dinner as guests of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation.
Nominations are open until March 5, 2018. The nominations forms will be closed after that date.
When someone is nominated she will be sent a link to an online application form to complete. This form has been designed with business specific criteria to assist the judges in accessing the nominees. The deadline for final application form submissions is March 12, 2018.
The Foundation, using independent judges who are or have been successful entrepreneurs, selects top women entrepreneurs in specific categories to receive their prestigious Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards at the event and supports them with publicity and recognition throughout the following year.
Our judges are successful women entrepreneurs who are not connected in any way with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation. None of the judges live in Santa Barbara or Ventura counties. Their selections will be made independently, based on the application and other supporting material each entrepreneur submits. It is important to fill out the form with all pertinent information because the judges will know nothing about you or your business except what you include in your application. All applications forms submitted will be treated as confidential and access to them will be strictly limited.
The top three nominees in each category will be notified in advance of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards Event. They will be recognized in press releases prior to the event and at the Awards. However, the actual winner in each category will be announced at the Awards Dinner, just like the Academy Awards. Only a very limited number of individuals will have that final information prior to its announcement.
Each award winner will receive:
- Engraved crystal Award from Tiffany to display in her business
- Featured on a page dedicated to Award winners on the SOE Foundation website
- Feature in the SOE Foundation Newsletter and Facebook page
- Recognition and promotional opportunities to showcase her business
- Invitations to events held exclusively for winners of the SOE Awards
For the second year, The SOE Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation, will be presenting the Successful Entrepreneurs Giving Back Award for which a special cash prize will be awarded to one of the winners who has been in business for five years or less.
The money is being donated by successful entrepreneurs and they will choose the winner for the cash prize. Last year the award was for $10,000.
The Board of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation select the recipient of the Rock Star: Life Achievement Award.
Past winners include Sara Miller McCune in 2016, Dorothy Largay in 2015, and Betty Hatch in 2014, all pioneering women entrepreneurs.
The 2018 Rock Star Award winner will be announced the end of February.
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation has developed an exciting cash award designed to recognize and financially support an outstanding new business founded by a woman in Santa Barbara or Ventura County. Winners in all of the award categories (except Nonprofit) are eligible for the Successful Entrepreneurs Giving Back Award if their business was founded within the last five years.
This Award is funded separately from the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards donors who are themselves founders of successful businesses, and they are part of the team who selected the winner for 2017. The exact amount of the Award will be announced at the Awards ceremony this evening.