CommunityWorks and the Greenville Chamber hosted the sixth annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Small Business Awards last night. After postponing the 2021 celebration, guests gathered at the Greenville Hyatt to celebrate small businesses, where they enjoyed a reception followed by the awards show. 15-year-old entrepreneur, Gabby Goodwin, known for her haircare accessory line and haircare line, GaBBY Bows, and Confidence by GaBBy Goodwin gave the keynote address. Upstate speaker, entertainer, and entrepreneur, JDew, was the emcee. The event was sponsored by 17 companies and seven local businesses received awards.
The awards, except for My Favorite Small Business, were selected by an expert panel from a list of nominations. My Favorite Small Business was selected via social media as a people’s choice award. The awards that were given and award winners are as follows:
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Furman Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 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 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented to Ashton Link, Owner of 613 Boutique.
The Minority-Owned Business of the Year, sponsored by NHE, Inc., honors those who commit to building communities as well as their businesses and strives to serve as leaders and visionaries to create change. The Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year Award was presented to Suga Pie Honeybun, and accepted by Owner, Ebony Sullivan.
The Woman-Owned Business of the Year, sponsored by Creative Builders, honors a woman entrepreneur who has experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a business. This award was presented to Exceptional Child Academy, accepted by the Founder and Director, Ashley Wilkins.
The Entrepreneurial Success Award, sponsored by Forum Benefits, recognizes the power of small businesses to use innovation to create jobs and expand their business model. This year’s winner is Bethany Winston, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of Kidding Around Media.
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 Small Business Champion Award winner is Off the Grid Greenville, accepted by Founder, Jackie Brooker.
The Business Resilience Award, sponsored by South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center, is new, given to a business that has shown resiliency through the trying times of COVID-19. This year’s winner is Dance Without Limits, accepted by Owner, Beth Bradley.
The My Favorite Small Business Award, 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 Todem Brands, accepted by Founder and Chief Brand Leader, Rhem Galloway.
Excellence in Entrepreneurship Small Business Awards would not be possible without the help of generous sponsors. Each sponsor generously contributed to support small businesses throughout the Upstate and make the event a success. The sponsors for this year’s event are as follows:
Presenting sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Wells Fargo
Keynote address sponsor: Count On Us Controller Services
Gold sponsors: Creative Builders Incorporated, Forum Benefits, Furman Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Greenville Technical College, NHE, Piedmont Natural Gas, and South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center
Silver sponsors: BDC, Cowart Awards, Fifth Third Bank, Hawk Law, QBS, and South State Bank
Bronze sponsors: Greenville Area Development Corporation