Applause Award

WBENC's Applause Award recognizes exceptional accomplishments that expand opportunities for women's business enterprises (WBEs) on a national or international level while breaking down the barriers that impede the progress and growth of businesses owned and operated by women. Award recipients are selected based on their impact on the growth of WBEs; creation of policies, procedures or initiatives that increase opportunities for WBEs; and innovative and inspirational leadership on behalf of women business owners and their companies.

Winners of the Applause Awards are announced during WBENC's National Conference & Business Fair held annually in June.

Award Categories

There are no specific categories for the Applause Award. Previously, the Applause Award has been awarded to individuals in the public and private sectors, as well as corporations and organizations. 

Awards Selection Process

An internal screening and research process is conducted to select all Award recipients. Although a formal application process is no longer used, an email recommendation (50 words maximum) may be sent to by February 1st of each year entering APPLAUSE AWARD NOMINEE in the subject line of the e-mail.

A panel of judges is led by WBENC's President, with support from the Vice President of Programs and Business Development and the Director of Programs. Selected WBE and corporate representatives, who participate anonymously in the judging process, may assist in deciding the Applause Award recipients.

Candidates are reviewed and selected for awards to be presented at WBENC's National Conference & Business Fair each June. 

Award Criteria

Unlike other awards, this is not a "Corporation of the Year" or "Supplier of the Year" award. Nor are individuals or organizations considered if their contribution is regional in nature. Each candidate will be assessed in the following areas:

  1. Significant and measurable impact on the growth of women's business enterprises.

  2. Creation of policies, procedures or programmatic initiatives that increased opportunities for women's business enterprises.

  3. Innovative and inspirational leadership on behalf of women business owners and their companies.

 Award Recipients

To view recipients of the Applause Award, visit the Award Recipients web page or the Past Recipients web page.