It is our distinct honor to showcase the winners and finalists of the Enterprising Women of the Year Aware in this special commemorative issue of Enterprising Women.
The award winners and finalists were recognized during a three-day tribute held in their honor from March 11-13 at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL. This was the seventh anniversary of the gala awards celebration. The Walt Disney World Company was the premier sponsor of the 2009 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration.
Award recipients must demonstrate that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities. Many of these women are also leaders in key organizations that support the growth of women’s entrepreneurship.
Award winners were recognized in five categories based on their sales revenue.
In October of each year, nominations put in at our Web site at www.enterprisingwomen.com and winners are selected from hundreds of entries. We partner with every major organization that supports women’s entrepreneurship to get the word out about our awards program to thousands of women who are eligible to participate. Through the support of these organizations and other outreach, participation and interest in our awards program doubles each year.
Over the past seven years, it has also been our tradition to induct one or more women into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame. These are women who have devoted a lifetime to building dynamic businesses or vital nonprofits and give back to others in significant ways. It is our honor to recognize their lifetime of achievements and thank them for the tremendous difference they have made in the lives of others.
We presented two special awards this years as well, including our first ever Enterprising Women Legacy Award to Sharon Hadary for her 20 years of outstanding work with the Center for Women’s Business Research, and our Advocacy Award to the Center itself for outstanding advocacy on behalf of women business owners. That award recognized the Center’s outstanding work on its “Women of Color” project which included groundbreaking research. Beverly Holmes, chair of the Center for Women’s Business Research, accepted the award on the Center’s behalf.
A snapshot of our Enterprising Women of the Year Award winners and finalists is included in this issue. We hope the inspiring stories of each of these outstanding women motivate you to dream even bigger dreams for your business.