About Us


Spirit of Entrepreneurship™

Bringing together business, education, entrepreneurs and students for workforce and economic development.

The mission of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ program, presented by Women's Economic Ventures a 501(c)3 corporation, is to support entrepreneurship in our area at all levels. We do this by recognizing the contributions of outstanding women entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties while supporting future economic growth through the recognition, financial support, and education of high school and college student entrepreneurs.

The student entrepreneurs, who have won the New Venture Challenge, a one-day business pitch competition put on by the Scheinfeld Center of Entrepreneurship at Santa Barbara City College, are awarded financial support (in the form of seed capital) and scholarships at our Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards. SOE provides the six winners with prizes in the form of seed money to support their successful business plan with the proceeds from the Awards Dinner. In addition, scholarships to any four-year college or university are available to all the winning students.

Since 2011, SOE has raised more than $87,000 for the New Venture Challenge collegiate and the high school winners.

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards event is unique in that it inspires student entrepreneurs with role models as well as cash prizes while honoring outstanding women entrepreneurs.

Making an impact with more than...


SBCC Scheinfeld Center

The Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Santa Barbara City College trains entrepreneurs and assists small businesses using a comprehensive approach combining theoretical curriculum, practical application, experiential methods, mentoring, counseling, internships, networking, and post-startup support. At the Scheinfeld Center, you can build or grow your business in the classroom.


The Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation began hosting the New Venture Challenge [NVC] in 2011 as an experiential component of its program. SBCC students and area high school students are invited to participate. The competition serves as a capstone experience to the community college students in entrepreneurship and/or career technical studies and as a capstone offering to the high school students participating in the Virtual Enterprise programs, and promotes youth entrepreneurship.

The three winners at each level of the New Venture Challenge are awarded cash prizes in the form of seed money and scholarships at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards event hosted by the Women's Economic Ventures.

Student Startup Showcase

The SOE program also hosts the Student Startup Showcase  immediately prior to the SOE Awards dinner to provide an opportunity to all the student finalists, not just the winners, in the New Venture Challenge to present their business ideas to those attending and potential investors.