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Celebrating Entrepreneurship ~ Nominations Open For Spirit Of Enterprise Awards

Their entrepreneurship helps create new jobs and boost our economy. That’s why we should all be involved in celebrating the importance of Arizona’s best businesses.

You can honor your favorite Arizona company by nominating it for the 2012 Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The awards recognize firms that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship. Past winners include well-known companies, such as Cold Stone Creamery, China Mist, Grand Canyon Railway and Ollie the Trolley, as well as smaller businesses that set a great example.

“We want to acknowledge the companies that really make a difference, creating a positive culture both internally and in our community as a whole,” explains Gary Naumann, director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Anyone can nominate a company, as long as it meets the following criteria:

  • A for-profit enterprise in business for at least four years;
  • Incorporated, headquartered or having a majority of its business operations in Arizona;
  • With three or more full-time employees;
  • Able to demonstrate profitability over the last three years combined.

In addition, one minority-owned business will receive the Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

The nomination process is starting this week. Companies must complete and turn in an awards application by July 31.

Winners will be announced Nov. 1 at the 16th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards event. Hundreds of Valley business and community leaders are expected to attend the awards luncheon at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

For more information on nominating a company, applying for the awards or attending the luncheon, please call (480) 965-0474 or visit www.spiritofenterprise.org.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business experience. One key program, Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects (STEP), matches teams of W. P. Carey School of Business students with Valley companies to help tackle real-world challenges and opportunities. Companies can also use the center to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.