In 2007 Jason O'Neill of Georgia was the first teen to receive the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the "Under 16" category. At age 9 he created PENCIL BUGS, a colorful bug-like topper for pencils. He and his parents continued to hand make them as well as custom t-shirts and bookmarks. That success went on into a board game, a video game, and a book series.
2008's Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Georgia was Cody Murray, who, along with his co-owner, Corey Bramblett, founded RAW TALENT, INC., which operates one of Georgia's largest screen printing and apparel design companies. RAW TALENT INC. was begun in a bedroom using just a telephone and a computer with Cody making 100 sales calls a day. At age 17, after finishing high school, he had begun carrying five apparel sales lines and later realized that the branded goods industry for large customers was a better idea.
The 2009 Young Entrepreneur of the Year announced by NFIB and Visa, Inc. went to Jay Shechtman of Weston, Florida, who was awarded a $10,000 scholarship to the Wharton School of Business. In the fifth grade he was impressed by his siblings tutoring children after school, and he eventually started YOU ASK, WE TUTOR, which only uses student tutors because he felt they worked the best with those who need the tutoring.
A novel idea created by an 18-year-old, Jessica Cervantes, for an entrepreneurship business project at her Miami, Florida, high school resulted in POPSY CAKES, a frosted cupcake attached to a cookie stick. That idea eventually won her $10,000 in start-up money from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship's National Business Plan Competition. Even with today's economic problems, she feels that children will still want to eat cupcakes at birthday parties. She hopes to license her concept to bakeries across the country.