Frequently Asked Questions
Nominations and Selection Process

Nominations Process

1. When do nominations open and close?

This year’s Businesswoman of the Year Awards nominations open February 7, 2023, and close May 29, 2023.

2. What are the benefits of being nominated?

While women entrepreneurs and business leaders are among the hardest-working people, they are also extremely modest.  The benefits of nominating and being nominated are, first and foremost, recognition for hard work. In addition, the credibility it lends to the business and its promotion is invaluable. Furthermore, the opportunity to network with and get to the finalist groups creates new connections across the National Capital Region. 

3. What are the steps once I nominate the person? How will they hear about it?

Your nominee will receive an email from WBN asking her to accept the nomination and the category/sub-category in which she will participate. (She can only participate in one category.) You will be identified as the nominator and cc’d on this email.

Upon acceptance of the nomination, your nominee will immediately be sent an application kit requesting a summary of their achievements in the following categories: proven business acumenoutstanding leadership skillsnotable achievements in her area of expertise, and community engagement.

Your nominee will fill out the application and return it via email.

4. Am I able to nominate myself?

Yes! Individuals are welcome (and encouraged) to nominate themselves.

5. What if I am a returning applicant?

Congratulations! We know you’re on the right track. Some of our applicants apply 2-3 years before even making it to the finalist round. But we often see that this perseverance is met with great rewards—like winning!

6. Are past finalists and nominees eligible to be nominated?

Yes! Some of our applicants apply 2-3 years before even making it to the finalist round. But we often see that this perseverance is met with great rewards—like winning!

7. Could a past recipient of the BYAs be nominated again?

Past recipients can re-apply under a different category. For example, an Entrepreneurial Leader recipient may apply for the Lifetime Achievement, Community Impact or Enterprise leader category.

8. Are men allowed to submit a nomination?

Of course! We are looking for the very best candidates for the BYA awards. Our Nominations Committees are made up of men and women in the community.

9. Do nominees have to be WBN members?

No. We accept nominations from within AND from outside the WBN network. We want to celebrate Ottawa’s community of inspiring and successful businesswomen. All women are welcome.

10. Do I have to KNOW the person to nominate them?

You do not need to know your nominee personally. However, you need to know the following details to submit the nomination: First Name, Last name, Contact Phone and Email, Organization, and Position.

11. I don't know which category I should nominate the person for. What do I do?

Go ahead and select the category that best suits the nominee. Your nominee will have the opportunity to change the category selection when she accepts her nomination.  

12. How many people can one person nominate?

A nominator can nominate an unlimited number of candidates to the awards program. Nominators cannot nominate the same person twice.

12. Can you apply to more than one category?

At this time, applicants may apply to one category only.

The good news is that if you are a recent applicant, much of your previous content can be reused for the new application. You need to update some parts of the application!

14. When will nominees receive their confirmation email and letter of congratulations?

Nominees will receive an email automatically after being nominated. The email will ask you to confirm your acceptance and eligibility. To receive the application package, candidates must fill this out. Our offices still need to receive your nomination if you receive this email. Please check your spam folder before contacting us.

Selection Process

1. How does the Award Process work?

Applying for the Businesswoman of the Year Award is done in three steps.

  1. Get Nominated

Applicants must be nominated by May 29, 2023. If you have received an email notifying you of your nomination – congratulations! If you have not been nominated yet, why not nominate yourself?

  1. Confirm Your Eligibility by replying to your Eligibility Confirmation Email

All nominees must reply to the Eligibility Confirmation Email before starting their application. This form confirms your eligibility as an official Award Applicant, and the information gathered here is a required component of your complete application.

  1. Submit Your Formal Application

All nominees who successfully complete their Eligibility Confirmation will be emailed a copy of the official 2023 Award Application.

2. What are the Eligibility Criteria?

Nominees must meet all eligibility criteria to apply for the Annual Businesswoman of the Year Awards. To see if you qualify, please note the following:

Basic Eligibility Criteria:

  1. She must live or work within a fifty-five (55) kilometres radius of Ottawa Centre
  2. She must self-identify as a woman.
  3. She must be active in a business registered as a sole proprietorship or corporation. *
  4. Her business must have been profitable in the last fiscal year. This means being financially stable and meeting all spending quotas when applicable for registered charities, not-for-profits, and social enterprises. [Important Note: In recognition of the substantial challenges faced by businesses over the past year, we were waiving the prerequisite of profitability in 2022]. *
  5. She must currently own majority shares in the company (Not applicable to those applying for the Community Impact Award or Lifetime Achievement Award). *
  6. She must hold the most senior executive title and/or be the chief decision-maker. *
  7. She must be the founder of the business and/or have had a significant impact on the company if acquired. *

*Applies to the Established  Entrepreneurial Leader Applicants only

3. Why is financial information required?

The financial information is an important and quantifiable indicator of success for our selection committee. It is required only for the Established Entrepreneurial Award Category. All the information submitted is confidential. A strict confidentiality agreement binds our selection committee, and this information is not shared with the public or any sponsors.

    4. Who are the members of the selection committee?

    The selection committee comprises past recipients, sponsors, community business leaders and other professionals who may or may not be WBN members. Men are included as selection committee members as well. (Note, selection committee member names and results/scoring from the selection process are not released. Feedback is not provided to the applicants.)

    5. Do nominees go through a screening process?

    Nominations are not screened. A nomination does not constitute an endorsement by the WBN. To become a finalist, nominees must agree to the Terms and Conditions of the BYAs and complete a rigorous application which is then reviewed and scored by independent selection committees.

    6. Who do I contact if I have further questions on the nomination process?

    Don’t hesitate to contact for any further questions or concerns.

    More Questions?

    Contact Tracy Noble, WBN Administrative Coordinator, for additional information at



    Learn more about the BYAs Sponsorship Opportunities.

    Upcoming Events

    The Businesswoman of the Year Awards offers two events in celebration of outstanding businesswomen.