2011 B.E. Small Business Award Nominees

Our finalists exceed expectations and seize opportunity to take home top honors at this year's Entrepreneurs Conference

This award recognizes entrepreneurs, age 19 or younger, committed to the tradition of Black business achievement.

Leanna’s Inc.
Type of business: Hair care products
Founder/CEO: Leanna Archer
Central Islip, New York

Launched in 2005, Leanna’s Inc. manufactures a line of natural hair products. With only word-of-mouth marketing and little advertising, the homegrown hair company experienced revenue growth for three consecutive years. The line of moisturizers, conditioners and hair treatments start at $10. The 15-year-old’s products, which generated $175,000 in sales, can be found in beauty supply stores in New York, New Jersey and Florida.

Creative Jewelry by Bridgeia’ LLC
Type of business: Custom designed, handcrafted jewelry manufacturer
Bridgeja’ Baker
New Orleans

After discovering a latent love of handcrafted jewelry during an emergency trip to the orthodontist, Bridgeja’ Baker, 13, developed a signature line of custom jewelry. Made from sterling silver, gold, gemstones, pearls or Swarovski crystals, Creative Jewelry by Bidgeia’ specializes in one-of-a-kind “center of attraction” pieces. For 2010, the company generated $10,000 in revenues. With nearly 30 beading classes under her belt, Baker, who started the business in December 2008, looks to create one-of-a-kind pieces specifically for fashonistas and middle to upper-class women.

AJ’s Hawaiian Iceez
Type of business: Flavor shaved ice cream and frozen deserts vendor
Co-Founder/CEO: Adam N. Holland
Co-Founder/COO: Jonathan K. Holland
Location: Brandywine, Maryland

Originally founded during the summer of 2008 to help with their younger sister’s school tuition, 15-year-old Adam and 14-year-old Jonathan Holland’s frozen treats business is now a fledgling family-run enterprise. The Holland brothers sell authentic shaved ice treats at public and private events. With start-up capital from their parents – which was paid back with interest – the brothers generated revenues of $36,000 last year. They now own three ice machines and a trailer that serves as a mobile unit. The two are currently in talks to franchise their business to other teens.

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