Staff Report

Nominations of women entrepreneurs from all around Santa Barbara and Ventura counties are being sought for the 2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship awards, which will be held May 4 at the Hilton Santa Barbara.

The nomination deadline is Monday, March 5. To nominate someone, go to

Women nominated in 11 categories will be narrowed down to three finalists in each and invited to attend the awards ceremony where the SOE Foundation will then reveal the 11 women entrepreneurs who will receive the 2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards.

The 33 finalists are listed in categories :

  • Agricultural/Wineries
  • Emerging Business
  • Green/Social Entrepreneurship
  • Health
  • Hospitality/Tourism
  • Media/Communications
  • Nonprofit
  • Professional Services
  • Retail
  • Science/Technology
  • Wholesale/Manufacturing/Global Trade


“It is exciting for everyone involved,” said Cathy Feldman, the foundation’s board chairwoman and CEO. “These remarkable women have such a variety of enterprises that we think it is important to tell the community about them. In fact, every one of them deserves recognition.”

Raiza Giorgi, publisher of the Santa Ynez Valley Star and Santa Barbara Family and Life Magazine, was among the finalists for last year’s event.

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards also will honor high school and college student winners of SBCC’s Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge competition.

Proceeds from the awards dinner will go toward cash prizes, in the form of seed money, as well as scholarships for the winning students.

For more information, email or call 805-682-8380.