The Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards program was founded in 2003 with one purpose - to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the Inland Empire's top entrepreneurial business leaders. Since that time, we've honored more than 200 entrepreneurs as finalists and bestowed the coveted Spirit Award to 70 entrepreneurs. Over that time, our black tie awards program has become the top business event in the Inland Empire! Drawing entrepreneurs, business and community leaders from every part of the two county region, we're proud to celebrate the entrepreneurial success stories that drive our local economy and serve as roles models for aspiring entrepreneurs.
I invite you to be a part of the process - by nominating a successful entrepreneur, becoming involved as a sponsor, or attending the event. Again this year, entrepreneurs will be recognized in the following categories: Emerging Entrepreneur, Technology Entrepreneur, Social Entrepreneur, Supporter of Entrepreneurship, Family Business Entrepreneur, General Entrepreneur, and Lifetime Achievement. The entrepreneurs selected will represent the "best of the best" in terms of overcoming obstacles, believing in their dreams, taking risks, and persisting in the face of long odds. They embody a spirit - the Spirit of Entrepreneurship - that is the hallmark of this great country.
Further, the evening of celebration helps support the next generation of Inland Empire entrepreneurs! All proceeds support the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Scholarship fund and Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at California State University San Bernardino. With its nationally ranked entrepreneurship program, Cal State develops and nurtures aspiring entrepreneurs that will contribute to the future growth and sustainability of the Inland Empire.
I hope you'll take the time to become involved, attend the event, and find out how strong the entrepreneurial spirit is in the Inland Empire!