Distinguished Entrepreneur 2024

Nominate Someone in your community today!

The Distinguished Entrepreneur Awards of SWFL are held annually during National Small Business Week to recognize southwest Florida’s small businesses for their innovation, advocacy and overall business excellence.
Deadline is February 16, 2024


The Distinguished Entrepreneur Awards is a prestigious award ceremony that aims to celebrate the small business community of SWFL and the entrepreneurs who contribute to making it the thriving, collaborative, and innovative community it is. The Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University hosts this high-profile event attended by over 150 reputable community leaders and business owners 2024 marks the 12th annual celebration of local entrepreneurs.

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Distinguished Entrepreneur
  • Has a creative product or service that solves a widespread problem in the marketplace
  • Has demonstrated flexibility and adaptability to the ever-changing whims of the environment and their market
  • Has demonstrated a unique capacity for creative leadership and innovation that allows their employees, their business, and the community to thrive


Servant Leader of the Year
  • Has established themselves as a mentor, philanthropist, and/or advocate for and in the SWFL Small Business Community
  • Has community service embedded in their company’s core values and demonstrates these values regularly in the community
  • Has been a trail-blazer in helping create a more collaborative, thriving, and charitable SWFL small business community


Emerging Business of the Year
  • Has started business in the last three years or is in the start-up phase of their business and has experienced success with their product or service
  • Has a unique mission and vision for their business that is designed to set them up for success in the future
  • Has been started by an entrepreneur who has demonstrated resiliency and a unique capacity for leadership

Distinguished Entrepreneur

Innovator of the Year

Advocate of the Year

William O. Webb Award

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