NFIB Announces 2012 National “Young Entrepreneur of the Year”: Oceanside, CA Teenager Recognized with $10,000 Scholarship

May 30, 2012 at 8:11 am 1 comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 15, 2012 – The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation (YEF) today announced that  of Oceanside, CA, has been named the 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Mitchell, the founder of Beauty 4 Life, a socially-minded business that sells jewelry handcrafted by Ugandan women, was awarded a $10,000 scholarship today at the NFIB National Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C.

Video Link: Interviews with Finalists and 2012 Winner Catherine Mitchell

“We at the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation are extremely impressed with what Catherine has accomplished: She exemplifies the best of what our young innovators have to offer,” said Kurt Summers, chairman, NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Board of Directors. “Catherine is a young woman who has not only exhibited an incredible drive for success, but a compassion for others that is admirable and inspiring. We wish her luck in her academic pursuits at Stanford and we are certain that we will hear from her again in the near future.”

Mitchell, a senior at Guajome Park Academy Charter, was inspired to start her business after making a trip to Uganda where she volunteered at an orphanage and befriended a five-year-old former street child whose mother is dying of AIDS. Touched by her story, Mitchell created a business to sell the unique handmade jewelry created by the women of Uganda. Her goal is to empower her Ugandan partners with a sustainable income so they may rise above poverty.

“Catherine is not only an innovator and entrepreneur, she is a thoughtful and globally-minded individual who represents a promising new generation of entrepreneurs,” said John Kabateck, executive director of NFIB California. “We in California and particularly proud as Catherine is the third high school senior in as many years to be recognized as Young Entrepreneur of the Year. She has a bright future in which the NFIB is proud to be an early investor.”

Mitchell’s products can be found on her website,  She will use today’s scholarship aware for tuition assistance when she enters Stanford University in the Fall.

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. This year, the foundation selected 131 national winners, 126 of which received a $1,000 scholarship, from a nationwide applicant pool. In addition, five finalists were selected to receive a $5,000 scholarship, and Mitchell was selected among the finalist as 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year. All award recipients will use the scholarships to attend the university, college, community college or career institute of their choice. A full list of all of the 2012 YEF scholarship winners is available here.

Click here to read about all finalists.


Contact: Cynthia Magnuson, 202-314-2036, 

Michelle Orrock, 916-501-7433,

John Kabateck, 916-956-9027,

news release

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.   


Entry filed under: NFIB, Uncategorized, Young Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur Foundation. Tags: , , , , , .

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