Washington, DC—On August 5, the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) presented the third annual Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition, where young entrepreneurs involved in the agency’s six-week Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Experience presented business plans to a panel of six judges from the local business community.
DSLBD’s Manager of the Commercial Revitalization and Training Education Division Gladys Kamau Ph.D. presented awards to the top three finishers. Xuan Trang Le, a senior at Banneker Senior High School, won the first place prize, which was a $1000 award. Le’s business, IV Seasons, is an innovative and eco-friendly fabric nail application for nail salons.
Second place, and a $600 award, went to Brooke Young, a senior at McKinley Technology High School, whose Aura business designs and crafts one of a kind jewelry and accessories; and third place, and a $400 award, went to Malika Shorter, a senior at Dunbar Senior High School, for Stuck On You, which manufactures long lasting cosmetics that are made from natural ingredients.
Judges Carrie Thornill, Managing Director of Israel Manor, Inc. Deborah Jones, Executive Director of Deanwood Heights Main Street; Gilbert Campbell, Co-Owner and Director of Business Development, Volt Energy; Karen Keegan, Branch Sales & Community Development Manager, Independence Federal Savings Bank; Mauricio Gaitan, Associate Director, Howard University District of Columbia Small Business Development Center Network; and Valarie Dock, President, Bolana Capitol Enterprises rated the entrepreneurs on the following criteria: opening presentation, service description and opportunity, competitive advantage and marketing strategy, understanding of economics of 1 unit, financial statements and projections, investment potential, goals and vision, presentation style and feasibility of business, and ability to handle the Q&A session smoothly.
The Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Experience was designed by DSLBD’s Training and Education Division as part of the Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s One City Summer Youth Employment in order to teach youth about the ins and outs of business ownership and give them the tools to set themselves on the path to starting their own businesses and wealth creation. Participants were taught primarily by Lonell Johnson, a Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) certified teacher and founder and director of Technology Playground.