2024 Business Woman of the Year Awards

Q:  How do I enter the 2024 Awards?

A:  The Awards entries are accepted through the new SCBWN online portal.  This can be accessed at https://scbwn.awardsplatform.com 

or use the Submission button from the Awards page.

Q:  What do I do if I have problems accessing the portal?

A:  In the first instance please email judge@scbwn.org.au.  We will be in contact with you. 

Q:  Can I stop and start my application?

A:  Yes, you can commence and save and recommence your application at any stage during the entry period.  Please remember that you need to SUBMIT your application for it to be finalised.  

Q:  How do I make sure I don’t lose any information as I am preparing my submission?

A:  From time to time you can lose internet connection when completing your online application.  This will make you lose information that you are entering as you cannot submit information offline.  You may wish to complete the question in a Word document and then copy and paste into your online submission if you are concerned.  

We just ask that you keep saving your answers regularly and keep checking for a current internet connection to avoid any issues. 

Q:  How will I know if my FINAL application has been received?

A:  You will receive a packing slip with a unique identification number of your application for your records.

Q:  Can I still submit via a paper application like previous years?

A:  No.  You can however download your completed submission for your keepsake (the year it was submitted).

Q:  I have won an SCBWN Business Woman of the Year Award before, can I submit again this year?

A:  Yes, a category winner (excluding Outstanding Business Woman) can re-enter the awards if:
     > two (2) years has passed (since you won) if you are entering another category, or
     > five (5) years has passed (since you won) if you are entering the same category.

Q:  I have won Outstanding Business Woman of the Year Award before, can I submit again?

A:  No

Q:  Do I have to be a member of the SCBWN?

A:  No.  

Q:  Am I eligible if I am a SCBWN committee member?

A:  Not if you are or intending to be a SCBWN Executive Committee.  You must resign your position prior to May in the year you are nominating to be eligible.  If you are on a Sub-Committee you are eligible to enter if you meet other eligibility criteria.  

Q:  Am I eligible if I own or work for a sponsor?

A:  Yes, provided you are entering a category that is not sponsored by the business you own or are an employee of.   You may apply for all other categories.  

Employees or owners of the Sustainability Category sponsor will not be considered as eligible when the Finalists are chosen for that specific category, however you may still enter and win any other Category. 

Employees or owners of the Outstanding Business Woman of the Year sponsor, are eligible to enter the awards process, however they are not eligible to win Outstanding Business Woman of the Year.

Q:  How do I know which Category to apply for?

A:  The eligibility criteria for each Category is explained in the Awards Submission Guide found at www.scbwn.org.au

Q:  After reading the Category Guidelines, I qualify to submit for a number of Categories.  Can I submit for all of them?  

A:  You can only submit for one Category and you get to choose which Category that is if you are eligible for multi categories.

Example:  You are under 35 and own a business that employs more than five people.  In this case you would choose whether to submit for Young Business Woman of the Year OR Corporate Business Woman of the Year.  When you enter your electronic submission you will choose which Category you would like to be considered for.  We will then only consider you for the specific Category that you have chosen throughout the Judging Process.  

Our recommendation is that you apply for the Category that you would be most proud to win when standing on stage at the August Gala Awards. 

Q:  Our small business is in my husband's name but I manage it.  What category am I in, Professional or Micro Small Business?

A:  Professional, if you are paid a wage and an employee and not an owner.  You must be an Owner of the business to submit for either Micro Small Business Category or Corporate Business Woman Category. 

Q:  I have 6 sub-contractors working for me, do they count as employees when choosing whether I submit for Micro Small or Corporate Business Woman of the Year?

A:  No.  Generally, Contractors are not regular members of your team and contracted on a project or as needs basis only, we therefore only count the employees under your payroll and direct report.  However, in the special circumstances of consistently using staff members under contract as a strategy to manage labour requirements, where you would otherwise directly employ, we may look at this differently.  Please add in their total hours over a month as an FTE and include as if they are an employee FTE of the business.  Please note in your submission the number of hours by an employee vs the number of hours of a Contractor.  If you are unsure as to what treatment to apply please contact the Chair of Judging who will assist you with a decision.

Q:  I was going to submit for the Sustainable Business Woman of the Year and I can’t see that Category listed.  What do I do?

A:  In 2018 we changed the Judging process for the Sustainable Business Woman of the Year Award.  Simply choose an alternate Category that suits your business structure.   All entries are considered for the Sustainable Business Woman of the Year and the Finalists are announced on the night of the Purple Room event.  Employees or Owners of the sponsor of this Category are excluded when making the Finalist decision. 

Q:  How is the Sustainable Business Woman of the Year Award judged?

A:  It is our belief that every business should work towards creating efficiencies, process innovations and adopt business practices that enhance the sustainability of their business, contributes to the community within which they operate and take into account environmental impacts.  With this in mind the Sustainable Business Woman of the Year is chosen from all submissions received.  

Sustainable business practices include your consideration of the social impact your business is making, creating efficiencies that reduce the impact your business has on our environment, the contribution you make to the greater Community, and the strategies you apply to ensure financial sustainability.  If your business has developed a product or service that assists other businesses to do that same, this will also be considered when judging this Award Category.  

You do not have to apply directly for Sustainable Business Woman of the Year Finalists for this Category are announced on the night of the Purple Room event. 

Q:  If I win my Category can I still win Sustainable Business Woman of the Year?

A:  Yes, there is the chance that you could win your Category and the Sustainable Business Woman of the Year Category. 

Q:  What is a business vs personal reference?

A:  You need to provide three (3) business references and two (2) personal references with your submission.

A business reference would most likely be a client, colleague, employer, supplier, staff member, or a person from within your business network.  They can be someone that you know personally, however they will need to indicate that they are supplying a business reference and write towards your business achievements and attitudes.  

A personal reference is from somebody that you know in your personal environment.  It could be a relative, friend, or a respected member of our Community that knows you personally.  This reference is more of a character reference about you as a person and the attributes that you hold that will make you the perfect representative of the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network. 

Q:  Can a SCBWN committee member nominate someone?

A: Yes, business women supporting business women is what it’s about. The nominator is not known by the judging panel, and does not have any influence on the outcome.

Q:  Can the person who nominated me write a reference for my submission?

A:  Yes, of course (except if a committee member). They are probably the best person to do so. 

Q:  What should I tell my referees to write about?

A:  Your referees are free to structure their reference in their own style, however sometimes they like some guidance.  You could provide them with one of the questions from your submission and ask them to reflect on that specific question.  

Q:  How is the Outstanding Business Woman of the Year Award judged?

A:  The Outstanding Business Woman of the Year is chosen from all submissions received.  You do not have to apply directly for Outstanding Business Woman of the Year.

Q:  If I win my Category can I still win Outstanding Business Woman of the Year?

A:  No, the Outstanding Business Woman of the Year is chosen before the Category scores are collated and that person is removed from the assessment of the other Categories.  

Q:  I will be overseas, or won’t be on the Sunshine Coast, when the interviews are on, can I still apply and do the interview on the phone or other medium?

A:  Yes, we will work out a solution with you in order for you to still be interviewed. However, the interview will still take place within the designated interview days. Interviews won’t be able to be scheduled outside of the three day allocation. The Judging Chair will coordinate this with you. 

Q:  I am not available for an interview in the dates provided, may I still enter?

A. No, unfortunately the availability of our Judging panel is confirmed for the designated interview dates only.  We recommend that you wait for a future year to enter.

Q:  During the awards process (from finalists announced date to award ceremony) can I be a speaker at an event, or host a Professional Growth session?

A. No.  During the awards process, you cannot be a guest speaker/presenter. You can of course, still attend events and participate in all other activities.

Contact Information:

If your question/s has not been answered above, please do not hesitate to email judge@scbwn.org.au.  We will continue to add to these questions based on your feedback. 

The SCBWN is honoured to have your involvement in the 2024 Business Woman of the Year Awards.  These Awards maintain their credibility in the Sunshine Coast community because of the integrity of process.  

A Judging Chair is appointed to guide this process and maintain the integrity, credibility and prestige of these Awards for all past, future and current Awards holders.  The 2024 Judging Chair is Michelle Hamer.  As Judging Chair, Michelle is available to answer any questions you may have and assist you throughout this exciting and rewarding process. 

Other documents you may also wish to reference

Please do not hesitate to contact the Judging Chair at any time throughout this process:

Michelle Hamer
Judging Chair
Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network Business Woman of the Year Awards
0458 837 454


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