Greenville Chamber and CommunityWorks partnered to recognize local entrepreneurs at the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Small Business Awards on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 as part of National Small Business Week. Presenting sponsors for the event were InstantHR and Wells Fargo.
The ceremony featured the presentation of the following awards:
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by InstantHR, honors young business owners who combine their sense of community, today’s technology and innovative business models to create some of Greenville’s most unique small businesses. The 2019 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented to Bo Stegall, Owner of Bo Stegall The Salon and Bo Stegall The Collection.
The Minority-Owned Business of the Year, sponsored by Wells Fargo, honors those who have a commitment to building communities as well as their businesses and strive to serve as leaders and visionaries to create change. The Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year Award was awarded to A. Smith Clothiers, owned by Arthur L. Smith.
The Eugenia Duke Woman-Owned Business of the Year, sponsored by Duke Brands, was presented to Corporate Stitch, owned by Dionne Sandiford. The award is named for Eugenia Duke, founder of Duke’s Mayonnaise and Duke Foods, and is presented to small businesses owners who embody the legacy of female entrepreneurship that Eugenia exemplified.
The Entrepreneurial Success Award, sponsored by GSA Business, recognizes the power of small business to use innovation to create jobs and expand their business model. This year’s winner is Andrew Kurtz, President and CEO of Kopis.
The Small Business Champion Award, sponsored by Greenville Technical College, is given to a business that fulfills a commitment to serve small businesses and entrepreneurs through innovative services and support. This year’s winner is Traci Newkirk, President of Intellectual Capitol.
The My Favorite Upstate Small Business, sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas, is a people’s choice award that gives neighbors a chance to demonstrate their support of their favorite small business by voting for a business they believe should be recognized. This year’s award recipient is Cassy Electric, accepted by Owner Cassandra Brayboy.
Event attendees also heard remarks from keynote speaker Jon-Michial Carter, CEO and Co-Founder of ChartSpan Medical Technologies.
CommunityWorks and the Greenville Chamber will also host the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Small Business Seminar on May 9, 2019 as an extension of the National Small Business Week celebration. The half-day seminar will provide educational opportunities and guidance to local entrepreneurs and small business owners. Attendees will hear from keynote speaker, James Jordon, Founder of Jordon Construction Company, as well as local experts in breakout workshops. The event will be held at Embassy Suites Verdae from 8:30am-1:30pm. Learn more at greenvillechamber.org.
ABOUT THE GREENVILLE CHAMBER
The Greenville Chamber, now in its 131st year of operation, is the largest business organization in Upstate South Carolina with over 2100 Investors supporting the vision of a globally competitive Upstate economy where businesses succeed and people prosper. For information, visit greenvillechamber.org.
CommunityWorks was established in 2008 as a local housing trust fund through a partnership between the City of Greenville, United Way of Greenville County and Greenville County Redevelopment Authority. This group worked together to support affordable housing and community development as a critical vehicle for fostering stable families and healthy communities. Since that time, CommunityWorks has evolved into a non-profit financial organization and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that is committed to empowering people to become financially stable through financial education, lending and investing.
The organizations has created a safe place for people and entrepreneurs in the Upstate community and throughout South Carolina to access financial coaching, connect with one-on-one business coaching, access loans to build their small business or develop affordable housing, and build their credit and assets. CommunityWorks empowers families, individuals and businesses to become financially secure by focusing on financial education and providing tools that enable families to seek solution strategies in achieving economic independence.
Since its inception, CW has generated over $221 million in local economic impact and has provided 33,990 hours of training and coaching, served 4,008 families, provided over $3.9 million loans to startups and existing small businesses, and deployed over $6.3 million in affordable housing and community loans that have created or preserved over 622 affordable housing units. For more information, visit communityworkscarolina.org.