For 14 years, the Stevie Awards have been honoring the achievements of businesspeople worldwide. In particular, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business are among the most prestigious awards worldwide for women business owners and executives.
The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are open to businesses worldwide, and recognize the achievements of women entrepreneurs, executives and the organizations they run. Judges for the Stevie Awards include many of the world’s most respected executives, entrepreneurs, innovators and business educators–more than 200 judges are involved every year.
Entering the Stevie Awards has many benefits for your business, even if you don’t win. Your application will be reviewed by top business leaders worldwide, and you get access to all of their comments about your business, an invaluable resource for helping you improve. While many big companies have won Stevie Awards in past years, small businesses have just as much chance of winning as larger ones.
There are so many categories within the Stevie Awards, it can be a bit confusing. In the Women in Business category alone, there are 39 possible awards — including Female Entrepreneur Of The Year, Innovator Of The Year and Young Female Entrepreneur Of The Year (under age 30). Categories are further broken down by type of business as well as business size; there are separate awards for nonprofit organizations. You can even nominate a female executive at your business for one of the many Female Executive Of The Year awards. In fact, you can nominate multiple women, including yourself, your executives and your employees, which can help increase your business’s chances of winning.
What makes for a successful Stevie Awards entry? Individual criteria differ by category, but the emphasis is on the overall quality of the entry. You don’t have to be a ground-breaking entrepreneur to win: According to the website, many of the winning entries “are simply about organizations and people that have performed well... not about extraordinary, world-changing or industry-changing accomplishments.” A well-written entry that focuses on your accomplishments in the past year and is accompanied by supporting information — links to publicity about your business, press releases or other documents supporting your claims — is all it takes.
The early-bird entry deadline (with a $35 discount on the entry fee) is July 20; the final entry deadline is August 24; and you can even submit a late entry up until September 21, but you will incur a late fee of $55. Finalists will be notified October 5, and final judging will be held October 17-26.
If you or someone in your company does win a Stevie Award, you’ll get publicity from the organization, as well as tools to help you in publicizing your success.
Want to learn more about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business? Visit the Stevie Awards website to view all of the information, including a detailed list of awards categories for women, and request an entry kit. There is also plenty of advice about creating a winning entry, as well as examples of prior winning entries, on the website.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.