Eligibility and Criteria


  • The nominee(s) and the business must be located in northeastern Minnesota or Douglas County, Wisconsin. Nominee(s) must be resident(s) of the United States.
  • The entrepreneur* must currently be active in the business for which s/he is nominated.
  • The nominee must own the business; however, the nominee does not have to be the sole owner.
  • Entrepreneurs* who have previously been nominated for an award are eligible to be nominated again; however, an entrepreneur who has won an award in a given category may not be nominated for the same category.


  • Nominations must be submitted by February 15, 2017.
  • Nominated businesses will be notified and asked to answer a series of questions. Answers must be submitted by March 1, 2017 to accept the nomination and be considered for an award.
  • Entries will become the sole property of the UMD Center for Economic Development.
  • Award recipients will be chosen by a panel selected by the UMD Center for Economic Development, whose determination shall be final.
  • Acceptance of the nomination constitutes permission to use the nominees’ and recipients’ names and photographs for purposes of advertising or promotion on behalf of the UMD Center for Economic Development.
  • Financial data included in the nomination package will be kept confidential unless the nominee(s) grants permission for disclosure.

*An entrepreneur is an individual who, as a result of assuming financial and/or personal risk, has created personal, community and/or regional wealth.