2011 B.E. Small Business Award Winners

These companies nab top honors at this year's Entrepreneurs Conference

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Exhibiting dogged determination, often unmatched by their peers, BE Nexters–a hand-selected group of entrepreneurs between the ages of 21 and 35–represent the future of business innovation. This award is presented to the fearless young entrepreneur tapped to be the future business leader.

As the financial meltdown shocked the business world, Hassan and Hussein Iddrissu were faced with a dilemma: layoff employees or risk losing their business. With auto customization ranking low even amongst Roadstarr Motorsport’s affluent customers, the Los Angeles-based company began to feel the pinch. But instead of getting rid of employees–“the greatest asset of the company,” insists Hassan, co-President–the Iddrissu brothers increased overhead and diversified their revenue model.

“[We’ve] been able to turn a local business into a multi-international business by utilizing the relationships we have built… To top it off, it has created a platform for us to be in partnership with an oil company UBI Petroleum in Ghana and hopefully Spain in 2013,” says the 33-year-old.

The business now operates in 15 locations within UBI Petroleum gas stations offering wheel and tire mechanical services as well as troubleshooting.
While the brothers make headway with UBI, they are also expanding their core business to Europe, Toronto and other parts of Africa.

What is Roadstarr’s competitive advantage?
Our competitive advantage is layered in our multi-national background, customer service and our daring ways to want to be different in the services and products we provide in comparison to our competitors.

We’ve seen a shift in technology and in the economic sphere over the past few years, how has this made you re-think the way you do business?
Hassan: Within the multi-media part of our business, most manufacturers now offer from the factory services and accessories such as navigation, reverse camera, DVD player and entertainment package. That has created a downturn demand in the aftermarket accessories in multimedia–perhaps about a 70% drop demand. But technology has also made some of our business executive packages more appealing due to a demand for wifi and handheld portable computers.

What is the single most important part of your strategy that guarantees your success?
Be honest with clients at all times. Not to mention, research and development, and being innovative tying in technology into your business.

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