Nominations for the third annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, the most prestigious awards for women entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara County, have been extended until March 8.
The winners will be announced at the gala Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner on Friday, May 10. Women entrepreneurs will be recognized for their success and contributions to the economy in eight categories.
The categories are beauty/fitness, communications/media/publishing, emerging business (less than 2 years old), hospitality/tourism, medical/science/technology, professional services, retail/wholesale/manufacturing, and Rock Star: Life Achievement Award.
“We’ve had so many requests that we decided to keep the nominations open until Friday, March 8,” said Cathy Feldman, board chair/CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. “Anyone can nominate herself or someone else just by going to www.soefoundation.org, clicking ‘Nominations’ and filling out a simple online form.”
Feldman points out that the winners will be selected by independent judges not connected with the foundation. The top three nominees in each category will be recognized before the event, but the winners will not be announced until the gala dinner at the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort, just like the Oscars.
Each will receive a beautiful award from Tiffany. Lynda Weinman, co-founder/executive chair of lynda.com, will be the emcee.
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards is held in conjunction with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Santa Barbara City College. A week before the awards event, the Scheinfeld Center will put on its New Venture Challenge, a two-tiered business pitch competition for SBCC students and area high school students to promote youth entrepreneurship.
The winners of both tiers of the New Venture Challenge Awards will be not only be the foundation’s guests and receive their prizes at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner, the proceeds from the awards will also fund cash prizes for the student winners.
“The mission of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation is to support entrepreneurship at all levels in Santa Barbara County because entrepreneurs are the engine for growing our economy,” Feldman said. “By recognizing both women and student entrepreneurs with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, we believe we are making an important contribution.”
— Cathy Feldman is CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation.