Entrepreneurial Success Award

Individuals must own and operate businesses initially launched as small businesses according to SBA size standards and subsequently developed into large businesses; and they must have received SBA assistance to help the business grow.

Who is eligible to be nominated for this award?
To be nominated and receive this award, the nominee must be an individual who owns and operates or who bears principal responsibility for operating a business.  Partners who jointly own and operate a business may be nominated as a “team,” so long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four.  A nominee for this award must own or operate a business that initially was defined as “small” under the applicable SBA size standards, developed into a large business and must have received SBA assistance to help the business grow.  Nominees must also be residents of and employed in the United States or its territories and will be subject to background checks.  Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.

Who may submit nominations for this award?
Any individual or organization dedicated to the support of the small business community in the United States, including, but not limited to, trade and professional associations and business organizations, may submit nominations for this Award.  Individuals may not be nominated for more than one award category.

What are the selection procedures for this award?
The SBA Entrepreneurial Success Award winners will be selected at the district levels. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges.  The winner will be announced at the Awards Dinner and Gala during the local Small Business Week, May 6-11, 2013.  Non-federal individuals serving as judges must sign a conflict of interest/non-disclosure certification.

In evaluating the nomination packages, the judges will look at the following criteria:

  1. Staying power — a substantiated history as an established business; including:
    • Number of years in business; minimum three years.
    • Sustained expansion, addition of territories, growth in square footage occupied.
    • Steady growth in net worth as evidenced by total assets less total liabilities on fiscal year end annual balance sheets over three years.
  2. Growth in number of employees — a benchmark to judge the impact of the business on the job market.
    • Sustained over a minimum of three years.
    • Increase over the three years must be in excess of growth in Gross National Product.
  3. Increase in sales and/or unit volume — an indication of continued growth over the last three years.
    • Consistent growth in net income as evidenced by fiscal year annual profit-and-loss statements for a minimum of the last three years.
  4. Current and past financial performance — financial reports substantiate an improved financial position of the business.
    • Profit-and-loss statements for the last three years, reflecting sustained upward growth.
    • Balance sheets for the last three years, showing consistent increase in net worth and/or partners’ return.
  5. SBA Assistance – documentation of the type(s) and amount(s) of SBA assistance received by the business and the year(s) in which it was received.
  6. Innovativeness of product or service offered — an illustration of the creativity and imagination of the nominee.
    • Specific description of uniqueness of product or service.
    • Explanation of how product or service fits a niche not being adequately addressed by the competition.
  7. Response to adversity — examples of problems faced in the nominee’s business and the methods used to solve them, including:
    • Specific description of financial, physical, legal or other crisis.
    • Substantiation of the threat to the continuity of the business.
    • Defined actions taken by the nominee to resolve the crisis.
  8. Contributions to community-oriented projects — evidence of the use of his/her personal time and resources, including:
    • Listing of specific contributions of money, time, or resources to charitable causes.
    • Membership in councils boards and clubs providing support and services to the community.