Open to any woman business owner in Santa Barbara and Ventura County. Nominations close February 21, 2021.
SOE Awards Submission
Award submission forms are available to all nominees from February 14 through March 21, 2021.
Our awards program information will be announced soon!
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.
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 or CEO/Executive Director for at least 5 years and generated a significant increase in impact. 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 is invited to propose nominations. You may nominate yourself or someone else. 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, though you are welcome to tell 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:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Green & Social Entrepreneur
- Health & Wellness
- Hospitality & Wellness
- Media & Communications
- Non Profit (Must be the Founder of an organization for social or CEO/Executive Director for 5+ years)
- 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 and Ventura Counties. The judges evaluate each candidate based on their applications. The top three nominees are the finalists and the nominee with the highest number of points is the winner in her category.
 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 Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards Dinner is a program of Women's Economic Ventures, a 501(c)3 corporation.
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
For Nonprofit CEOs or Executive Directors:
• Founder or Co-Founder and still leading the organization
• Leader of the nonprofit for 5 years or more and the organization has significantly increased its impact
The Nomination Form is available on the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ website on the Nominations drop down menu and can be filled out online.
You can nominate yourself and then you will be sent a link to the Awards Submission Form.
The 2020 categories are:
[VIEW ALL DESCRIPTIONS]
- Arts & Entertainment = Businesses involved in the arts and entertainment fields
- Green & Social Entrepreneur = Any business, regardless of industry, focused on improving environment or focused on social good.
- Health & Wellness = Businesses in the health and fitness industry as well as doctors and other health care professionals.
- Hospitality & Wellness = Business categories may include restaurants, caterers, event planners, hospitality, tourism industry.
- Media & Communications = Business categories include public relations, advertising, marketing, publishing or other business that involves media or communications.
- Non Profit = Founder of an organization for social good, or CEO/Executive Director for 5+ years, who has significantly increased impact
- Professional Services = Businesses providing a service in any field, e.g., building, consulting, financial, legal, real estate, etc.
- Retail = All retail businesses.
- Science & Technology = Businesses involved in science, technology, mathematics, engineering, etc.
- Wholesale, Manufacturing & Global Trade = Wholesale and/or manufacturing businesses; global trade.
Don’t see a category that fits? That’s ok! Please select the category you think is the best fit, or even choose multiple categories if you aren't sure. We'll make the final category selection for you.
Either option is available. You can nominate yourself or someone else. All nominations will be considered. However, please only submit one form per nominee.
Nominations are open from January 27 until February 21, 2021. 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 21, 2021.
Independent judges who are or have been successful entrepreneurs, select top women entrepreneurs in specific categories to receive the prestigious Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards at the event.
Our judges are successful women entrepreneurs who do not live in Santa Barbara or Ventura counties and are not affiliated with SOE Awards or WEV. The judge the nominees independently, based on the application 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. The actual winner in each category will not be announced until the awards program, 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 an engraved Award to display in her business
- Be featured on a page dedicated to Award winners on the SOE website
- Be featured in the SOE Awards Newsletter, Instagram and Facebook page
- Receive recognition and promotional opportunities to showcase her business
- Receive invitations to events held exclusively for winners of the SOE Awards
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards Committee selects the recipient of the Rock Star: Life Achievement Award.
Past winners include Carol Duncan, 2019; Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, 2018; Pamela Webber, 2017; Sara Miller McCune, 2016; Dorothy Largay, 2015; and Betty Hatch in 2014, all pioneering women entrepreneurs.
The 2019 Rock Star Award winner will be announced the end of February.