Nominations are accepted from the business community from August to mid-October each year. Qualified nominees complete an application and provide additional support materials that are reviewed by a panel of third-party judges from the business community.
The panel of judges reviews the applicants and selects the final 25 honorees according to the following:
- Financial stability
- Ability to overcome obstacles/adversity/challenges
- Community involvement/service
- Distinguishing or defining characteristics/qualities
- Company vision
The 25 finalists are announced in mid-December, and events are scheduled throughout the following February and year to honor the finalists. Honorees are profiled in a special 25 Under 25® supplement in the February issue of Thinking Bigger Business magazine and are invited to be guests on the “Smart Companies” radio show.