Meet The 2014 Small Business Award Finalists

These 12 nominees represent America's best small black businesses

Teenpreneur

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

Cool Aid Crutch Wear

Aliyah Wilson, Founder and CEO

Type of business: customized design crutch accessories

Location: St. Louis                                    Website: www.coolaidcructhwear.com

The idea for Cool Aid Crutch Wear was hatched while Wilson was using crutches due to a foot injury resulting in four surgeries and limited activities during the recovery process. The business is a Create It Yourself (CIY) shopping experience that lets users go online to customize and purchase accessories for their crutches, which are made of 100% recycled materials. Minus operating expenses, labor, material, insurance and charitable donations, Wilson’s business is projected to earn a little more than $6,000 in 2014. Money that the 17-year-old plans to use for college expenses at Xavier University of Louisiana.

Mo’s Bows

Moziah Bridges, Founder and CEO

Type of business: handmade bowties

Location: Memphis                                   Website: www.mosbowsmemphis.com

Bridges is a 12-year-old mogul in the making. Mo’s Bows is a unique line of fashionable bow ties that he designs himself. He started making bow ties at age nine, learning how to sew by hand and machine from his grandmother. In 2011, he launched his Mo’s Bows label on Etsy.com, generating $10,000 in revenues in 2012. He also sells his bow ties, which retail for between $45 and $50 each, through boutiques in Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Arkansas. Last year, Mo’s Bows sold more than $60,000 worth of product. The recent ABC Shark Tank contestant (who didn’t get money but mentoring from Daymond John) says his ultimate goal is to have his own fashion line by the time he hits 20.

Sweet Dreams Girlz

Halle and Brea Holmes, Co-Founders and CEOs

Type of business: natural skincare and beauty products for girls

Location: Phoenix                                     Website: www.sweetdreamsgirlz.com

Sweet Dreams Girlzs is a producer of skincare products for young girls, including hair conditioner, body wash, lip balm, and moisturizer. The idea for the company was borne out of a spa-themed slumber party that the Holmes sisters hosted but were unable to find naturally made beauty products for tweens and teens. In 2010, a then 10-year-old Halle and 16-year-old Brea launched their own line with a $6,000 investment from their parents. Within two years, they were generating around $25,000 in revenues. Now the sisters are looking to become a head-to-toe lifestyle brand that includes sneakers, apparel, and accessories.

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