Black Enterprise is seeking entries for its annual Small Business Awards, which provides special recognition to African American entrepreneurs who embody the entrepreneurial spirit. The magazine wants to honor companies and individuals who are bringing new products to the forefront, redefining sales strategies, and discovering new and profitable markets.
* Techpreneur of the Year – This award is given to a fast-growing company that is delivering groundbreaking technology products or is disrupting the digital industry in some manner.
* Family Business of the Year – This award is presented to a family-operated business that exemplifies the combined experience and expertise needed to excel in a key industry.
* Franchise Owner of the Year – This award is presented to a franchisee for outstanding performance and overall contribution in enhancing the growth and development of the franchising industry.
* Teenpreneur Award -This award recognizes a young entrepreneur or group, age 19 or younger, committed to advancing the rich tradition of black business achievement. These young entrepreneurs have positioned themselves to become the next generation of business leaders.
Last year’s winner
Mignon Francois, founder of The Cupcake Collection, was the recipient of the 2016 Black Enterprise Small Business Award in the category of Family Business of the Year. Perhaps the most popular flavor at Francois’ cupcake shop is a sweet potato cupcake—inspired by her hometown of New Orleans, which her family fled following Hurricane Katrina. “My mother-in-law inspired and gave me the idea for it,” she notes. “You just can’t live in the South and not love sweet potatoes.”
In 2015, revenues for The Cupcake Collection were over $930,000. Over the next couples of years, The Cupcake Collection reached more than $1 million in sales in 2016. Francois was among last year’s winners to represent how innovation and invention spur growth and maximize success.
Requirements and how to apply
Companies interested in applying must:
* be independently owned
* be at least 2 years old
* be at least 51% black-owned
* generate annual revenues of at least $250,000 but no more than $20 million
* show a pattern of increasing revenues for the two years preceding application or raised a round of capital from venture capitalist or other private equity investors for Tech Startups
* have a minimum of three employees
All entries must be received by Monday, March 13, 2017, EDT. Winners will be announced at a special awards luncheon Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the 22nd annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit.