Innovation, perseverance, and resilience are some of the attributes entrepreneurs need to weather any storm. Couple this with the business owners who aren’t looking to simply survive, but rather have challenged themselves to thrive and expand. These are the nominees for the 2014 Black Enterprise Small Business Awards. From this unique group of entrepreneurs Black Enterprise will cull its winners in four categories.
The annual Black Enterprise Small Business Awards recognize those companies and individuals who are bringing new products to the forefront, redefining sales strategies, and discovering new and profitable markets. The winners of the 2014 Small Business Awards will be announced at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide Insurance, May 14 to 17 in Columbus, Ohio.
A special awards luncheon will take place on May 15, with multimedia mogul T.D. Jakes, CEO of TDJ Enterprises, serving as the featured headliner. Bishop Jakes will also hold a major book signing event for his highly anticipated book Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Unborn Drive, in the Deal Makers Expo.
Nominations for awards are in the following categories:
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES
This award is given to a business that is flourishing in an innovative industry or approaching entrepreneurship in a groundbreaking manner via their products or services.
Type of business: developer of beauty spoon cosmetic tool
Location: Chicago Website: www.alexabrands.com
Hoexter is a former model and corporate marketing professional turned inventor and entrepreneur. She created the Beauty Spoon, a cosmetic tool used to remove the remaining liquids located along the sides and bottom of product bottles (i.e. foundation, lotion, etc.). Launched in 2011 under Alexa Brands, the beauty spoon is now sold in 2,200 Walmart stores around the country. And it’s also being sold in South Africa, Ireland and the U.K. Hoexter’s company has generated more than half a million dollars. She is eyeing other household products and apparel items.
C.J. Peters, Co-Founder and CEO
Type of business: video gaming with hip-hop swagger
Location: Atlanta Website: www.konsolekingz.com
Since 2007, Atlanta-based Konsole Kingz has been one of the few minority-owned companies that have a contract to create and sell virtual goods on the Xbox platform. Partners C.J. Peters and Marcus Matthews have sold more than 1.3 million unique gamer pics, themes, and avatar accessories. After initially creating Konsole Kingz as a DVD magazine dedicated to lovers of hip-hop and video games, Peters has cultivated it into a one-of-a-kind company that he describes as a video game lifestyle brand, centered in hip-hop culture. The two partners recently worked with Kandi Burruss of Real Housewives to produce her mobile app, Kandi-Koated Spades.
Don Charlton, Founder and CEO
Type of business: applicant tracking system and online recruiting software
Location: Pittsburgh Website: www.theresumator.com
For over a decade, Charlton has established himself as an award-winning interactive designer, software engineer, and motivational public speaker. In 2009, he launched The Resumator, eventually growing the company into a multimillion-dollar venture and one of the region’s fastest growing businesses. The Resumator is an online recruiting software program used by more than 6,500 employers, including Mashable, Hootsuite, and Warby Parker eyewear. His software was also used by both the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney 2012 presidential campaigns. His software helps employers take the hassle out of hiring.