Scholarship Awarded to Young Entrepreneurs for Small-Business Achievements

Date: April 16, 2014

Scholarship Awarded to Young Entrepreneurs for Small-Business Achievements
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Hoffman (202-314-2054) or [email protected]
Molly Young (202-314-2042) or [email protected]

Five Teenagers Receive $5,000 Scholarships; 95 Receive $1,000 Scholarships

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 16, 2014 – The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation (YEF) has awarded five exceptional high school seniors with a $5,000 educational scholarship for their entrepreneurial accomplishments.  The awards are part of the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards 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.

•    Anna Erkalova of Chalfont, PA. Crane Books, LLC publishes and sells public domain literature.
•    Cody Gradert of Ireton, IA. Gradert and Sons is a multigenerational business that grows corn and soybean as well as finish cattle.
•    Zach Haney of Topeka, KS. Kansas Carnival Supply, LLC is an event rental company that supplies clients’ with interactive party and equipment rentals for a wide variety of events.
•    LeiLei Secor of Hagaman, NY. Designed By Lei is an online jewelry business specializing in handmade wire wrap rings and earrings targeted to women.
•    Vivek Tedla of Newton, CT. VRT Studios is a photography studio that creates and delivers high quality and innovated products specializing in wedding photography, senior pictures, and multicultural photography.

On July 16, two of these five students will each be awarded an additional $10,000 scholarship to apply to their college tuition. At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., one student will be dubbed the “2014 Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and the other will earn the “2014 Dan Danner Leadership Award.” Both awards acknowledge the dedication and successes that these students have achieved as entrepreneurs and budding small-business owners.

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. Student 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 is 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.”

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 600 students. Award recipients will use the scholarships to attend the university, college, community college or career institute of their choice. Since 2003, YEF has awarded over 2,500 scholarships worth more than $2.5 million to graduating high school seniors.

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 interviewed the applicants for the Young Entrepreneur Awards.


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 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.

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