Five Examples of Young Entrepreneurs to Inspire

June 25, 2013 at 6:46 am 5 comments

The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation (YEF) awarded budding business owner, Shea Gouldd, its highest honor, naming her the 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year. 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.

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 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. Interview of Shea Gouldd about her business can be found here.

Ms. Gouldd was selected from an impressive group of finalists from around the country, each of whom received a $5,000 scholarship as recognition of 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. Interview of Adam Cline about his business can be found here.
  • 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. Interview of Wes Cossick about his business can be found here.
  • 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. Interview of Andrew Miles about his business can be found here.
  • 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. Interview of Ben Queen about his business can be found here.

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 winners from a nationwide applicant pool of more than 500 applicants. Award recipients will use the scholarships to attend the university, college, community college or career institute of their choice.

To qualify for an NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award, students must seniors in high school who own and/or operate their own small business. Students can find more information about the Young Entrepreneur Awards and apply here.

Video profiles of the five finalists and their businesses are available here.

Watch the six videos included above (interviews can be found in each finalist’s description, and profiles of all five finalists can be found at the end of the article), of the Young Entrepreneur Award winners and follow up with the following discussion questions:

  • What characteristics do they possess that have made them and their business successful?
  • What kind of business would YOU want to start? Check out Entrepreneur in the Classroom Exercise 2-2 to have the students go through a mind-mapping exercise that helps them plan a business.
  • How did each of the students describe their businesses? Were their elevator pitches persuasive enough to have you use their business? What made their business descriptions good? How could they have improved their elevator pitch? Check out the last step of Entrepreneur in the Classroom Exercise 2-2, to show students how to develop an elevator pitch.
  • Check out Entrepreneur in the Classroom Exercise 2-5 to have your students do a SWOT analysis of one of the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award winners’ businesses.

Entrepreneur In The Classroom:
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The FREE curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.

More Information:
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.

Related links:
Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter
Like NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Facebook
Follow EITC curriculum author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter


Entry filed under: Leadership, Young Entrepreneur. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Entrepreneur India  |  September 19, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Hey, useful post…love the way you have presented the whole detail’s…it’s always good to read and get to know quality stuff… Entrepreneur India provides small business opportunities, best business ideas, how to grow your business etc. Do visit our website and get all business solutions as per your requirement’s.

  • 2. Dwayne Golden Jr.  |  September 30, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    For me its great to hear these success stories but I’m interested hearing more about their earnings.

    I’m also a young entrepreneur who began making money in business at 17.

    Is there a possibility of a follow up post?

    • 3. YEF  |  October 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Hi Dwayne, Thanks for your thoughts. NFIB’s YEF doesn’t publicly post the Young Entrepreneur Award winners’ profits. You could look up these businesses online and reach out to the owners that way. Good luck!

    • 4. Kathy Korman Frey  (@ChiefHotMomma)  |  October 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Also, Dwayne, you might be interested to know that the winner of the latest GSEA competition has a business that generates $5 million a year in revenue. Net information is usually never disclosed for private companies.

  • 5. financial planning certificate  |  September 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    financial planning certificate

    Five Examples of Young Entrepreneurs to Inspire |


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