For Immediate Release
Contact: Cynthia Magnuson 202-314-2036 or Cynthia.Magnuson@NFIB.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 13, 2013 – The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation (YEF) awarded budding business owner, Shea Gouldd, its highest honor today, naming her the 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. As the winner of YEF’s top prize, Ms. Gouldd, who resides in Boynton Beach, Fla., will receive a $10,000 educational scholarship to attend Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., this fall where she will study Business.
“Each year, NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Awards remind us of the value of hard work, determination and most importantly of dreaming big. Ms. Gouldd and her fellow finalists give us tremendous confidence in the next generation of business owners,” said NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner. “We are thrilled to know that even in tough economic times, so many young people, like Shea, are motivated to build their own businesses, pursue their dreams and keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive in America. Our nation’s future is all the brighter because of their determination and innovative ideas.”
Ms. Gouldd owns and operates Shea’s Bakery, a gourmet bakery that she founded at the age of 14. Over the last several years, Shea’s Bakery has gained notoriety and attention for her made-to-order baked goods, becoming the No. 1 bakery in Delray Beach according to urbanspoon.com and a preferred wedding cake vendor at local hotels. Shea’s Bakery is also a community-conscious business, donating 10 percent of all profits to charity. Ms. Gouldd’s business success grew out of her favorite hobby, baking, and into a business that now employs three people. “Entrepreneurship is in my blood,” says Ms. Gouldd, whose innovative baking ideas, such as “Pattycakes” (TM pending) and cake push-up pops have made her business highly competitive and successful.
Ms. Gouldd was selected from an impressive group of finalists from around the country, each of whom received a $5,000 scholarship and also attended the D.C. ceremony where they were recognized for their business endeavors. The four finalists and their businesses are:
• Adam Cline of Bettendorf, IA. Adam’s Pet and House Care provides high-quality house-sitting, lawn-care, snow-removal and pet-sitting services to the community. Mr. Cline will attend the University of Northern Iowa in the fall.
• Wesley Cossick of Spring, TX. Next Step Webs LLC is a website development and graphic design company that provides Internet design services to large and small businesses throughout the country. Mr. Cossick will attend the University of Texas in the fall.
• Andrew Miles of Silver Lake, OR. Miles Custom Baling is an agricultural business that bales hay for local farmer. Miles is also venturing into the alfalfa farming sector. Mr. Miles will attend Oregon State University in the fall.
• Bennett Queen of Bridgeport, WV. Ben Queen Photography is an online digital photography business that sells photos taken at local social, civic and athletic events. Mr. Queen will attend West Virginia University in the fall.
The awards are part of the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award scholarship program that is designed to recognize, reward and encourage young men and women to pursue their dreams of owning and operating a small business. NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation established its scholarship program to raise awareness among the nation’s youth about the critical role of private enterprise and entrepreneurship in growing America’s economy. The foundation selected today’s recipients from a nationwide applicant pool of more than 500 students. Award recipients will use the scholarships to attend the university, college, community college or career institute of their choice. A full list of the 2013 Winners of the $1,000 scholarships are available here.
A video presentation of all five finalists is available here.
To qualify for an NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award, students must seniors in high school who own and/or operate their own small business. They were required to write an essay describing their entrepreneurial endeavors and future goals. NFIB members around the country interviewed the applicants for the Young Entrepreneur Awards. An independent, outside committee selects a group of qualified semi-finalists.
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at www.NFIB.com/YEF. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system.