Few small business owners managed to exceed expectations during the recession and subsequent recovery this past year. Of the intrepid group who did, weâ€™ve chosen our 2010 Black Enterprise Small Business Award nominees. Now we need your help in determining the winners. Vote for the companies you think most deserve the recognition. Online votes will contribute to a portion of the scoring; final selections will be made by the editorial committee of BLACK ENTERPRISE. Exemplifying entrepreneurs who demonstrate viability regardless of circumstance, the winners will be announced at the 15th annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo, May 16â€“18 in Atlanta.
Young, Black and Fabulous L.L.C.
Type of business: Celebrity gossip and news blog site
Founder/CEO: Natasha Eubanks
Location: Washington, D.C.
Eubanks started TheYBF.com in 2005. Today, the site receives 15 million page views per month and in 2009 generated $1 million in revenuesâ€”90% of which came from advertisements. Advertisers looking to reach her target audience include MetLife, Macyâ€™s, Wal-Mart, movie studios, and luxury car companies. Eubanks, 28, remains the siteâ€™s sole writer, and a radio commentator for the nationally syndicated radio show Big Boyâ€™s Neighborhood.
Type of business: Menâ€™s skincare
Founder/CEO: Darnell Henderson
Launched in 2004, the line of skincare products for men of all ethnicities is currently available in more than 100 Macyâ€™s stores nationwide as well as online. The company posted $1.6 million in revenues for 2009â€”up from $980,000 the previous year. Revenues for 2010 are projected to reach $2.3 million because of 32-year-old Hendersonâ€™s lucrative government contract that now places the H.I.M.-istry (Healthy Image Man) line, including cleansers, toners, and scrubs, in 150 Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores across the country.
Type of business:Â Aircraft leasing, management, acquisitions, sales, and brokering
Founder/CEO: Jamail Larkins
Location: Augusta, GA
Larkins has been flying high as an entrepreneur since the age of 16. He offers services related to aviation: aircraft leasing management, acquisitions, and brokering. Started in 2006 with just $5,000, the business generated revenues of $8.4 million this past year. Crediting the companyâ€™s success to strategic growth, an expert and knowledgeable team of four, and a diverse portfolio, 25-year-old Larkins expects revenues to reach $8.5 million by year-end 2010.
Click here to cast your vote for the Black Enterprise 2010 BE Next Award!