Help honor the best businesses in Arizona

portrait of Sidnee Peck

Help honor your favorite Arizona business. Nominate it for the 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The awards recognize some of the state’s best businesses for creating jobs, boosting our economy and delivering great service to customers. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, Ollie the Trolley and Total Transit (Discount Cab), as well as fast-growing businesses, such as Infusionsoft.

“We want to celebrate some of your favorite Arizona companies that have demonstrated ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship,” says Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We’re looking for firms that are innovative, have a positive internal culture and make an impact both on our economy and in our communities.”

Each business can be nominated for up to three of the six Spirit of Enterprise Award categories described at this website:

Primary requirements include that a company is:

  • A for-profit enterprise;
  • Incorporated, headquartered or having a majority of its business operations in Arizona;
  • Employing at least three full-time employees or partners.

Also, one minority-owned business will win the Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award. Companies started by W. P. Carey School of Business students are eligible to win the Student Entrepreneur Award. Student-run businesses don’t have to meet the three-employee requirement.

“This year, we’ve also added a new entrepreneurship workshop to take place right before the awards luncheon,” explains Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Some of the school’s top faculty members will speak about what tools and techniques you can use to advance your business.”

Award nominations will be accepted until June 27 here: 18th Annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards 2014 Nomination Form. Then, nominated businesses will have until July 31 to fill out an awards application.

Winners will be announced at a luncheon Friday, Nov. 21 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Hundreds of business and community leaders attend the annual event.

For more information on nominating a company, applying for the awards or attending the luncheon, call (480) 965-0474, e-mail or visit

These awards are just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center recently introduced the Sun Devil Select competition to honor ASU alum-owned or alum-led businesses, as well as the Sun Devil Igniter Challenge for student businesses. The center also offers companies a chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while allowing students to get hands-on business experience. The center is a gateway to access other ASU business resources. It is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.