There is no one given industry or type of business that will render any entrepreneur riches beyond his or her wildest dreams. However, there are niches to be found throughout any market and during any cycle of the economy. The annual Black Enterprise Small Business Awards recognize those entrepreneurs who have found their niche, possessing the right strategy and skill to eventually grow their small enterprises into sizable entities within their industries. The winners of the 2012 Small Business Awards will be announced at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 23 to 26 in Chicago.
This year we broadened our Innovator of the Year criteria to include early stage emerging companies that have been in business at least two years and have at least $250,000 in revenues. Our nominees run the gamut from entrepreneurs who are high-tech innovators to those running age-old businesses with a modern twist to entrepreneurs with socially conscious enterprises.
In preparation for the Small Business Awards, BlackEnterprise.com is giving you the chance to weigh in on this fierce competition by voting online for who should win in each of the four categories (Innovator of the Year, Family Business of the Year, BE Next Award and Teenpreneur Award). Scroll through the next few pages to see who our 2012 nominees are and cast your ballot to decide who the People’s Choice winners are. Your choices will be celebrated at the Black Enterprise Small Business Awards Luncheon hosted by Ariel Investments on May 24 at the Hilton Chicago. The power is in your hands. —Carolyn M. Brown