The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards returns on Friday, May 5 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Biltmore’s Coral Casino. The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation aims to celebrate women entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara County. Due to the high acclaim and growth of this event, this year the awards have been expanded to include Ventura County as well. Lynda Weinman, co-founder and former executive chair of lynda.com, will be the host of the evening once again.
Outstanding women entrepreneurs will be recognized for their success and contributions to the Santa Barbara community across 11 categories. These categories include Agriculture and Wineries, Emerging Business, Green and Social Entrepreneurs, Health, Hospitality and Tourism, Media and Communication, Nonprofit, Professional Services, Retail, Science and Technology and Wholesale, Manufacturing and Global Trade. The nominations for all 11 categories are now open and will be accepted until March 10: they are open to any woman within Santa Barbara and Ventura County.
“We are so pleased to be able to expand our nominations to Ventura County this year,” says Cathy Feldman, Board Chair/CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation (SOEF). “By encouraging these nominations, SOEF will bring well-deserved attention to the valuable contributions made by the many women who are influencing the economics of our region.”
The top three nominees in each category will be announced at the end of March. The winners will be announced and honored at the awards dinner on May 5.
In addition to the 11 award winners, one special award is selected by the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation’s Board, the Rock Star: Life Achievement Award. This will be presented to a successful women entrepreneur who has made a long-lasting impact on the community. Previous winners of this award include Sara Miller McCune, Betty Hatch, Dorothy Largay, Kathy Odell and Mindy Bingham.
Not only is this event an empowering gathering, it is also altruistic. The proceeds from the awards dinner go to the student winners of the SBCC Scheinfeld Center’s New Venture Challenge, a two-tiered business pitch competition for local area high school and collegiate students that promote entrepreneurship among the youth. The winners of both tiers will be special guests at the awards dinner and will receive their prizes during the evening.
For more information, visit soefoundation.org or call 805/682-8380.