Propelling Impact and Innovation
Michigan Entrepreneurs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Michigan Celebrates Small Business?

Michigan Celebrates Small Business consists of organizations that support and celebrate entrepreneurs in Michigan and have banded together to create the state’s premier awards ceremony for entrepreneurs and small business leaders. These organizations include:

A committee of executives from each of the aforementioned organizations meets throughout the year to determine needed criteria, secure sponsors and enhance protocol for the Michigan Celebrates Small Business Awards. Each year leaders in both business and government gather together to honor more than 60 of Michigan’s small business leaders. Both existing and start-up entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for one of the 14 following awards as well as Michigan 50 Companies to Watch.

What is Michigan 50 Companies to Watch?

It is an awards program honoring second-stage companies headquartered in the state of Michigan. These companies demonstrate high performance in the marketplace or exhibit innovative products or processes. The awards program is designed to seek businesses from a wide range of industries representing all regions of the state, not just the major metropolitan areas. This is not an award of the “top 50” or “best” companies—the 50 companies selected each year make an astounding impact on Michigan’s economy by collectively providing thousands of jobs and contributing millions of dollars of revenue. In short, they tell a compelling story about the state’s diverse economic landscape.

What second-stage companies are eligible?

To be considered for selection as one of the Michigan Companies to Watch, the enterprise must meet the following for the year ending 2016:

Note: Cannot have won this award in the past.

Who can nominate a company?

Nominations typically come from service providers (accountants, bankers, attorneys, public relations professionals and others); economic development offices; trade, business and community associations; the media; and universities. Past Companies to Watch award recipients are encouraged to nominate their peers. Having said all that, anyone can nominate anyone. You can even nominate yourself if you meet the criteria for receiving the award.

How do I nominate a deserving company?

The nomination form will be available on Monday, September 29. Watch the home page for the link to provide the necessary information to submit the name and contact information associated with the deserving company. Upon submitting your nomination, a notice is e-mailed to your nominee, naming you as the nominator and providing instructions on how to apply. Only online nominations will be considered.

How are award recipients selected?

Award recipients are selected by a panel of judges representing areas of economic development, banking, entrepreneurship and small business. Judges look for evidence of fast and/or high growth in employment rates and revenue. In addition to being evaluated on past growth and projected success, applicants are also judged on their special strengths.

What are “special strengths”?

These are traits that make one company stand apart from its competition. A company’s strength might be its innovative products or business practices, special use of technology or community involvement.

When can I expect to hear if my company has been selected as a Company to Watch?

All applicants will be notified by mail in late January. All applications are considered for the award throughout the selection process, so we are unable to fulfill requests about application status until the official notifications are mailed.