To run a successful business takes a great deal of hard
work, determination, and resilience. Many say that we see fewer of the young
generation exhibiting these traits and that the entrepreneurial spirit is on
the decline. However, after looking at this year’s crop of applicants for the
Young Entrepreneur Foundation – you can tell that there are plenty of young
people that not only defy this perception, they exemplify the very definition
of entrepreneur. LeiLei Secor and Zach
Haney are entrepreneurs that have started small firms prior to graduating from
high school. They have been celebrated with top honors by the NFIB Young Entrepreneur
Foundation for their pursuits of free enterprise.
Secor, of Hagaman, N.Y. has received the 2014 Young
Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Haney, of Topeka, Kansas, accepted this
year’s Dan Danner Leadership Award during a special ceremony in the nation’s
capital July 16. Each honor, which includes a $15,000 scholarship for higher
education, acknowledges the dedication and successes the pair achieved as innovative
entrepreneurs and future small-business owners.
Secor’s online jewelry venture, Designed By Lei, specializes
in handmade wire wrap-rings and earrings targeted to women; Haney’s enterprise is
Kansas Carnival Supply LLC, an event rental firm that provides interactive
party and equipment rentals.
It’s vital that you and all NFIB members make a concerted
effort to encourage youth such as Secor and Haney. Their optimism, strong faith
in the promises of free enterprise and determination to succeed are great examples
to other young people who are eager to follow in their steps but fear a government
that is antagonizing Main Street risk-takers.
No one better understands the importance of entrepreneurship
than you and your fellow small-business owners. Just like LeiLei and Zach, a
majority of America’s young people are eager, determined youth who have
unlimited entrepreneurial potential. But they need role models and mentors like
you to assure them that they can succeed and prosper even in the face of Washington’s
current anti-business agenda.
Please help NFIB inspire these promising achievers of
tomorrow by joining the Young Entrepreneur Foundation’s effort to bolster America’s
entrepreneurs. You can make a difference by serving
as a Nominator for the 2015 Young Entrepreneur Awards, and interviewing
one or more of the applicants. To qualify, students must be high school seniors
who own and/or operate their own small businesses.
And to further support this important program, join your
fellow NFIB members who regularly
contribute to the foundation. Since 2003, the foundation has awarded
more than 2,500 scholarships worth more than $2.5 million to graduating high
By encouraging today’s youth we can assure that America’s
future is indeed bright.