Apply Now for the Black Enterprise Small Business Awards

If you’re part of an outstanding company that’s destined for greatness or if you know an entrepreneur who is defying the odds and making impressive strides toward success in this unforgiving economy, then BLACK ENTERPRISE wants to hear from you! B.E. is seeking entries for its annual Small Business Awards, which provides special recognition to African American entrepreneurs who embody the entrepreneurial spirit. BLACK ENTERPRISE seeks to honor those companies and individuals who are bringing new products to the forefront, redefining sales strategies, and discovering new and profitable markets.

A Sweet Family Enterprise


Mignon Francois, founder of The Cupcake Collection, was the recipient of the 2016 Black Enterprise Small Business Award in the category of Family Business of the Year. Perhaps the most popular flavor at Francois’ cupcake shop is a sweet potato cupcake–inspired by her hometown of New Orleans, which her family fled following Hurricane Katrina. “My mother-in-law inspired and gave me the idea for it,” she notes. “You just can’t live in the South and not love sweet potatoes.” In 2015, revenues for The Cupcake Collection were over $930,000. Over the next couples of years, The Cupcake Collection reached more than $1 million in sales in 2016. Francois was among last year’s winners to represent how innovation and invention spur growth and maximize success.

Altogether, there are 12 nominations in four categories:

  • Techpreneur of the Year – This award is given to a fast-growing company that is delivering groundbreaking technology products or is disrupting the digital industry in some manner.
  • 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.
  • Franchise Owner of the Year – This award is presented to a franchisee for outstanding performance and overall contribution in enhancing the growth and development of the franchising industry.
  • Teenpreneur Award -This award recognizes a young entrepreneur or group, age 19 or younger, committed to advancing the rich tradition of black business achievement. These young entrepreneurs have positioned themselves to become the next generation of business leaders.

Shark Tank Teen Favorite


Fifteen-year-old Moziah Bridges is the 2013 Black Enterprise Teenpreneur Award winner, who started his company Mo’s Bows at age 9. He appeared on the hit ABC series Shark Tank and thanks largely to his investor and mentor Daymond John, his business skyrocketed. He has since sold $200,000 worth of his handmade bow ties and other men’s fashion accessories. Mo’s Bows can be purchased at Neiman Marcus’s online shop and in limited brick-and-mortar locations. They also are sold at the company’s official website.

Enter Now


The lucky winner of the highly coveted Small Business Award will be inducted into the Small Business Awards Hall of Fame. All entries must be received by Monday, March 13, 2017, EDT. Winners will be announced at a special awards luncheon Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the 22nd annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit.

Register now to secure your spot at the 2017 BE Entrepreneurs Summit, May 17—20 at the Marriott Marquis Houston.