Vote for the 2010 BE Next Award Nominees!

This award is presented to the fearless young entrepreneur(s) age 21–35 tapped to be future business leaders

Warning: getimagesize(): Filename cannot be empty in /home/blackenterprise/public_html/wp-content/themes/blackenterprise/single-standard.php on line 35

Few small business owners managed to exceed expectations during the recession and subsequent recovery this past year. Of the intrepid group who did, we’ve chosen our 2010 Black Enterprise Small Business Award nominees. Now we need your help in determining the winners. Vote for the companies you think most deserve the recognition. Online votes will contribute to a portion of the scoring; final selections will be made by the editorial committee of BLACK ENTERPRISE. Exemplifying entrepreneurs who demonstrate viability regardless of circumstance, the winners will be announced at the 15th annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo, May 16—18 in Atlanta.

Young, Black and Fabulous CEO Natasha Eubanks

Young, Black and Fabulous L.L.C.
Type of business: Celebrity gossip and news blog site
Founder/CEO: Natasha Eubanks
Location: Washington, D.C.
Eubanks started in 2005. Today, the site receives 15 million page views per month and in 2009 generated $1 million in revenues–90% of which came from advertisements. Advertisers looking to reach her target audience include MetLife, Macy’s, Wal-Mart, movie studios, and luxury car companies. Eubanks, 28, remains the site’s sole writer, and a radio commentator for the nationally syndicated radio show Big Boy’s Neighborhood.

H.I.M.-istry CEO Darnell Henderson

Type of business: Men’s skincare
Founder/CEO: Darnell Henderson
Location: Miami
Launched in 2004, the line of skincare products for men of all ethnicities is currently available in more than 100 Macy’s stores nationwide as well as online. The company posted $1.6 million in revenues for 2009–up from $980,000 the previous year. Revenues for 2010 are projected to reach $2.3 million because of 32-year-old Henderson’s lucrative government contract that now places the H.I.M.-istry (Healthy Image Man) line, including cleansers, toners, and scrubs, in 150 Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores across the country.

Ascension Aircraft CEO Jamail Larkins

Ascension Aircraft
Type of business:  Aircraft leasing, management, acquisitions, sales, and brokering
Founder/CEO: Jamail Larkins
Location: Augusta, GA
Larkins has been flying high as an entrepreneur since the age of 16. He offers services related to aviation: aircraft leasing management, acquisitions, and brokering. Started in 2006 with just $5,000, the business generated revenues of $8.4 million this past year. Crediting the company’s success to strategic growth, an expert and knowledgeable team of four, and a diverse portfolio, 25-year-old Larkins expects revenues to reach $8.5 million by year-end 2010.

Click here to cast your vote for the Black Enterprise 2010 BE Next Award!

  • I’m NEXT because I show and prove impact on professional, personal, political, and community levels. At the age of 27 with a two-year-old daughter and supportive partner and family structure, I’m in my fifth year of being a business owner and the outlook is bright despite the recession. I’ve funded my company without direct support from government grants or major loans. All this in an effort to allow my clients to do an be more online through the use of effective social media strategy.

    Professionally, I make the social media capabilities of the Fortune 500 available to smaller organizations and non-profit groups so that they may better serve the community they seek to improve. I demonstrate tangible results for my clients, most of whom are urban based professionals. I increased the following for an online campaign of an Irvington, NJ based PR firm by 244% in just three weeks.

    I’m involved with the Blood Center of NJ, the Lupus Foundation of America, United War Veterans Council, Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus and a local political campaign. I collect and donate clothing to non-profit organizations in addition to giving blood more than twice a year. Additionally, I provide my professional services free of charge to some community organizations.

    The most important activity for me is probably helping organizations like Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus. My mother suffers from Lupus and it has greatly impacted her life as she is now on disability. This strong, wonderful example of an active and involved citizen has always fought to make the world better for others. She walks the walk through foster parenting, volunteering as a child advocate, working to connect children with their incarcerated mothers, and instilling in her own children a passion for education. Now I am passionate about helping to eradicate the disease that affects my mother and many other African American women. Offering me assistance so that education, screening, and research can be conducted is a key component of my giving back.

    Additionally, as technology creates a world that’s more instrumented, intelligent, and interconnected, I seek to become involved in government so that I may help effect positive change and diminish the disparities between the haves and the have nots.


    To bad there is an age limit on who can be next. I am 43 and am about to launch a new company (thank you recession!) BLACK INVENTORS GROUP will invigorate and empower people to think, act, and take charge of there dreams. I am a firm believer that we all have great ideas, and that we need a way to channel and bring those ideas to fruition. Go to for more info.