The Annual Luminary Awards recognize individuals and organizations that persistently provide extraordinary support for entrepreneurs and small business enterprises [SMEs].

Each year the ICSB Foundation bestows three Luminary Awards, one in each of three entrepreneurial categories:

  1. Practice: Success in founding and development of enterprises in either for profit or not for profit categories.
  2. Research / Academia: Research or education/training for creation and developing SMEs.
  3. Policy: Leadership in public policy that supports entrepreneurs and SME founders.

Luminary Award winners are individuals or organizations that are exemplary in enhancing entrepreneurship and SME creation, education and training, and leadership in the public policymaking sector as listed above.

Winners of the Luminary Awards receive a monetary prize, a crystal desktop trophy, and their names are inscribed on the Hall of Fame wall at the ICSB Foundation Central Office in Washington, D.C. They will also be honoured at the 2013 ICSB Foundation Gala Awards Dinner.


Congratulations to the 2013 Winners


Research / Academia

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the Kauffman Foundation is among the largest foundations in the United States with an asset base of approximately $2 billion. Its vision is to foster "a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities." In service of this vision, they focus grant making and operations on two areas—    education and entrepreneurship—which founder, Ewing Kauffman, saw as two ends of a continuum. A quality education is the foundation for self-sufficiency, preparing young people for success in college and in life. 

Public Policy

William 'Denny' Dennis

William Dennis, Jr. has directed NFIB’s research foundation since 1976. He has served as president of the International Council for Small Business. Besides managing the research program of the NFIB Research Foundation, his responsibilities include long-term policy planning, policy conferences and annual surveys. He has testified numerous times before congressional committees regarding key small-business issues like availability of credit and health care. Recently he was honored by the Small Business Administration with the Special Ad vocacy Award, which recognized him as "one of small business' most committed advocates", with considerable expertise in small business research.



Skoll Foundation

Led by CEO Sally Osberg since 2001, the Skoll Foundation's mission is to drive large-scale change by investing, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. They are now one of the leading foundations in the field of social entrepreneurship. Over the past 13 years, they have awarded more than $358 million, including investments in 97 remarkable social entrepreneurs and 80 organizations on five continents around the world who are creating a brighter future for under served communities. In addition to grant- making, they fund a $20 million+ portfolio of program-related and mission-aligned investments.


GE2R [Global Entrepreneurship/Employment Results]

Objective: Create a substantive set of measures of economic and employment development directly resulting from entrepreneurship and SME education and training. These metrics are gathered annually similar to the GEM study and the Kauffman Firm Survey [KFS].

For the past 30 years the field of entrepreneurship education and training has rocketed throughout the world.The excitement for this "movement" has been and is astounding. Before the onset of academic entrepreneurship small business management courses existed in some colleges. Often these courses were created to take advantage of the USA Small Business Institute Program [SBI, 1972-1995] to engage advanced students in consulting to small business with SBA loans. At its peak ~500 colleges and universities taught small business management courses integrated with SBI funds. When the SBI program ended, most of the small business courses were eliminated. In ~1980 or so, entrepreneurship courses and centers began a slow but ascending popularity. Presently almost all b-schools worldwide include entrepreneurship curricula. Measurement of the economic impacts of these programs are practically nonexistent. The ICSB Foundation intends to correct this omission.

Only the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed metrics and publishes findings about Companies founded by and still operatedby MIT graduates. This ongoing MIT follow up research also measures these MIT fomented companies employment growth, contributions to Gross Domestic Product and National Income, plus wealth creation. In contrast to the MIT measurements, most promotions of the "successes" of entrepreneurship education and training programs count secondary actions and notmacroeconomic results. So, the entrepreneurship movement “results” focus on such measures as: number of participants in courses or training programs, number of business plan competitions won, rankings in various magazines, numbers of faculty teaching entrepreneurship and SME courses, plus self-centered bragging to promote their effectiveness. In other words only secondary measures are utilized to "prove the successes" of the burgeoning entrepreneurship and SME "movement." The flashy information about such ratings permeate the pamphlets and literature promoting the superiority of the many Centers, Faculty, and courses. After 30+ years of investment of money and personnel to establish academic entrepreneurship, it is time to provide longitudinal metrics to measure actual results of what entrepreneurship programs claim sans hard data economic measurement.

The International Council for Small Business [ICSB] with affiliates worldwide is uniquely positioned to design long-term research to measure the global macroeconomic impacts' that academic entrepreneurship, mentoring, and training provide. Presently any real effects are unmeasured. Legislatures, academic administrators, charitable foundations and policy leaders worldwide can make more enlightened investment decisions if based on rigorous data and information.

The international Council for Small Business [ICSB: enhancing entrepreneurship worldwide] and its ICSB Foundation seek to create the GE2R ongoing annual worldwide data gathering and analysis. We intend to mobilize our global affiliates as the consortium to conduct this highly relevant research each year. We will consult with the very successful Global Entrepreneurship Monitor [GEM] and the Kauffman Foundation Firm Survey [KFS] to determine if there are any possibilities for cross-experience interactions. What the ICSB Foundation portends to study is quite different from what the GEM and KFS provide.

The ICSB Foundation's next step is to complete a work plan and design that succinctly describes the mission of the research mission described above. We intend to circulate a RFP to ICSB global affiliates and other willing and capable respondents. This RFP will be exact about what is expected in any responses.

The ICSB Foundation seeks to partner with an interested Foundation to facilitate financially the design and implementation of this much needed data to guide world leaders and policy makers in making rational decisions about economic development and employment creation policies.

Please address any questions or comments to:; Phone: 1-303-442-431