Small Business, Big Ambition

This year's nominees got up and running with more than a little drive

Now she has a busy professional schedule — accepting invitations to youth organizations, corporate functions, and educational events, where she sells her ceramics and speaks about youth entrepreneurship.
Hamilton Art Gallery’s collection includes statuettes, vases, candleholders, and decorative plates. The pieces retail for $20 to $165, and custom orders can be placed. The business generated about $3,000 last year.

Quality Web Solutions, TYPE OF BUSINESS: Web design services, PRINCIPAL: Brandon Griffin, LOCATION: Fort Wayne, IN
Brandon Griffin’s business, Quality Web Solutions, was born out of his love for computers. Now 16, he was only 12 when he got the idea but wasn’t sure if someone his age could start a business. Through Internet research he found out that young people did indeed start businesses and that he would need a business plan. Started with approximately $1,000, Quality Web Solutions is now a profitable Web services company that grossed around $5,000 in 2004.
Quality Web Solutions offers a variety of services, including Website design, Web hosting, domain name registration, and e-business consulting. Griffin is involved in every aspect of his 15-employee business. He’s the customer satisfaction officer, meeting with new clients to ensure their satisfaction with rendered services, and he handles all of the business’ accounting.
The company’s Web hosting packages range in price from $10 to $30, and its Web design services cost approximately $60 per page. To date, Griffin has designed more than 200 Web pages.
Griffin recently began offering search engine services and a traffic exchange Website. He even found a way to turn his original research into a business. He compiled a lot of the information he found on youth entrepreneurship and business plan writing and started a business called FyeBye (For Young Entrepreneurs, By Young Entrepreneurs) that promotes youth entrepreneurship. Future plans include launching a publishing company.

In selecting the award nominees, a committee of BLACK ENTERPRISE editors and conference coordinators pored over hundreds of business plans and nomination forms. Once preliminary nominees were selected, be’s research department conducted further due diligence to determine the strongest candidates. For information on the 2006 Small Business Awards or to nominate a business or entrepreneur, go to blackenterprise.com.

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