Who can nominate a company?
A business may be nominated for the award by a customer, client, employee, vendor or a private citizen who is impressed with a company’s demonstration of ethical business conduct.

How can businesses enter?
Minnesota businesses (private, public or non-profit) are eligible to make an entry to the Minnesota Business Ethics Award after receiving a nomination.

The MBEA is designed to recognize Minnesota businesses. Companies that do business nationally and internationally are requested to focus the information provided on their Minnesota operations. For example, a company with employees both in and outside of Minnesota should list both the number of Minnesota employees, the total number of company employees, and where the company headquarters is located. Information related to how ethics is practiced should focus on the experience and practices of the Minnesota-based entity that is applying to the MBEA.

My company only has 25 employees. I couldn’t possibly afford an ethics program.
Building an ethical business culture is not about how much money you spend. It is about linking the core values of your business with the norms, procedures, incentives and rewards that you establish and the leadership that you provide for your employees.

We have a modestly-sized family-owned business. Aren’t ethics programs for large, multinational companies?
Companies of all sizes strive for the highest ethical standards. Every company is required to achieve the minimum legal standards. An ethics program will help in reaching both goals.

Is the size category in the entry based on the company’s Minnesota employee numbers or the number of employees company-wide?
The first question to answer is: Is the company headquartered in Minnesota
If a company is headquartered in Minnesota, then yes, all company-wide employees count and they should submit their entry for the entire corporation and its experience.
If the company is headquartered outside of Minnesota, then only the Minnesota employees count for the size category, but also, while they should acknowledge the location of the company headquarters and the larger background, the entry should focus on the experience and practices at the Minnesota location(s).

What does an ethics program do?

  • An ethics program is designed, among other things, to
  • Protect your company’s reputation
  • Build customer loyalty
  • Attract, retain and motivate excellent employees
  • Create a positive corporate culture
  • Prevent costly legal violations

What can I hope to gain?

  • Practical knowledge and tools for creating and sustaining an ethical culture in your company
  • Steps and tools for building an ethics program for your company
  • Help in thinking about governance and planning for succession in a private business
  • Relationships with like-minded business leaders
  • Aid in planning for corporate philanthropy for family businesses
  • Access to resources and expertise from experienced and knowledgeable seminar leaders
  • Continuing education credits


  • Society of Financial Service Professionals