Created in 1997 to specially recognize African American entrepreneurs who embody the entrepreneurial spirit, the Black Enterprise Small Business Awards honor companies and individuals who are bringing new products to the forefront, redefining sales strategies, and discovering new and profitable markets.
“Our Small Business Awards represent one of the nation’s most powerful recognition of entrepreneurial excellence. Our audience shares with us those outstanding entrepreneurs in technology, franchising, and community impact as well as rising stars and those who have made it into the small business pipeline before adulthood, revealing promising careers in business,” says Black Enterprise Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer Derek Dingle. “At Black Enterprise, a core component of our mission is discovery, which we have done every year for 20 years of our Entrepreneurs Summit. This awards presentation fuels the aspirations of other African American business owners who seek to be identified among the very best.”
There were 12 nominations in five categories, including the newly added Community Pillar of The Year Award. Here are the entrepreneurial powerhouses that won the 2015 Small Business Awards.
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.
Co-Founders: Dara Solomon, CEO; Fela Strickland-Smith, COO
Satori Interactive is a boutique, user research & human-centered design organization wholly-owned by two sisters, Fela Smith and Dara Solomon. The company was incorporated in 2004 and is comprised of leading professionals that focus on providing solutions that create the connection between products and people. The design company provides web, mobile, and digital applications. Revenues for Satori reached $1.2 million in 2014. The company also was named Atlanta’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in 2014.
The two nominee runner-ups were Michael White, founder and CEO, America’s Finest Filters, a Louisville-based manufacturer rep of air, liquid and gas filtration products for HVAC; and Solomon Akinduro, founder and CEO, Ascot Associates Group, a Memphis-based construction management and engineering design firm.