(Des Moines), April 16, 2014 — The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation (YEF) has named Cody Gradert as a NFIB Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist.
Cody is one of five finalists who have been selected and will be honored with an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on July 16th. During the event, the winners of the “2014 NFIB Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and “2014 NFIB Dan Danner Leadership Award” will be named and each awarded a $15,000 scholarship. The remaining three finalists will each receive a $5000.00 scholarship. Cody Grader is from Ireton, Iowa and is currently a senior at Unity Christian High School.
“Small business is the backbone of Iowa’s economy and there’s no better way for young people to improve their futures and help their communities than to start a business that creates jobs and opportunities for others,” said NFIB State Director Kristin Failor.
In 2014, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation awarded 100 Young Entrepreneur Award Scholarships to students across the country. Each award is between $1,000 and $15,000. Students who received the Young Entrepreneur Award are seniors in high school who own and/or operate their own small business. The scholarships are used to help with tuition costs for the winners’ post-secondary education. NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation awarded $145,000 to deserving young entrepreneurs in 2014, thanks to the financial support from numerous small business leaders, corporate and foundation supporters. A complete list of donors and winners are available here.
“America’s young people have caught the entrepreneurial bug, and we at the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation could not be more confident in our next generation of business owners,” said Molly Young, Senior Manager of the Young Entrepreneur Foundation. “The number of applicants for the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards continues to grow and we are impressed year after year with the quality of these hard-working, innovative high school students who are making their entrepreneurial dreams happen. Our scholarship winners are driven to succeed; our nation’s future is all the brighter because of their determination and leadership. NFIB congratulates this year’s winners for their tremendous accomplishments and hopes the scholarships will assist these young entrepreneurs as they continue on their paths towards successful futures.”
To qualify for an NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award, students must be seniors in high school who own and/or operate their own small business. They are required to write an essay describing their entrepreneurial endeavors and future goals. NFIB members around the country interview the applicants for the Young Entrepreneur Awards. Since 2003, YEF has awarded over 2,500 scholarships worth more than $2.5 million to graduating high school seniors.