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NFIB and Visa Inc. Announce 2008 "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" Winner


Washington State Teen Experiences Sweet Taste of Business Ownership Success.

The eighteen-year-old owner of a Washington state chocolate and coffee business, Peter Crabtree, has won the 2008 National Federation of Independent Business/Visa Inc. “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Award. In recognition of his entrepreneurial achievements and spirit, Peter Crabtree of Kingston, has been awarded a $10,000 educational scholarship to help defray the cost of tuition at Seattle University. Peter was chosen for this top honor from more than 8,000 candidates who applied from across the country.

“Peter is an outstanding example of how young people can succeed when they take a risk and invest in their entrepreneurial talents,” said Don V. Cogman, chair of the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Board of Directors. “NFIB is thrilled to be working with Visa to reward Peter and all of this year’s YEF Award recipients for their impressive entrepreneurial achievements. We hope our awards will assist these young entrepreneurs as they continue on their paths towards successful futures.”

Called CBC Chocolates, Peter founded his company at the age of 15 as a way to earn money for college. His interest in making chocolate started in a culinary class at school. From there, he started making chocolate at home and selling them to classmates. During the summer he expanded his line of chocolates and began selling them at a farmers’ market. By 2006, CBC Chocolates was a licensed wholesale producer and in 2007, he opened a 1,200-square-foot store front with a kitchen where all of the chocolates are made. To help increase sales for his growing business, he has since added a coffee and espresso bar.

“Peter’s drive, passion and determination should be an inspiration to all aspiring business owners,” said Raghav Lal, Head of Global Small Business Products, Visa Inc. “We are pleased to, once again, be working with NFIB and their Young Entrepreneur Foundation to help ensure that young leaders who have either started, or want to start, their own business have the resources to succeed.”

Visa’s sponsorship of the program is part of its comprehensive corporate social responsibility program, which focuses on programs that help unleash entrepreneurial talents critical to economic development.

“I want to thank both NFIB and Visa for their generosity, support and recognition of my efforts,” said Crabtree. “It has been an exciting journey full of hard work, frustration, ingenuity and most importantly, joy and success. This scholarship will most certainly help to further my knowledge of the business world as I pursue my college degree.”

The NFIB/Visa Inc. “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award is given annually to the top applicant in the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards program, sponsored by NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation. To earn a scholarship, students were asked to demonstrate their entrepreneurial achievement by answering a short, personal questionnaire defining their efforts. Standardized test scores, GPA and class rank were also taken into consideration.

The four other winners of the NFIB/Visa Inc. National Young Entrepreneur Award will each receive a $5,000 scholarship. They are:

o Jim Cerenzie of Spanish Fork, Utah: Plans to attend California State University in Long Beach. Jim’s company uses e-Bay to sell brand new “old” stock, bought from a sporting goods wholesaler in Ariz.
* John Kirkpatrick of Beckley, W. Va.: Plans to attend Wake Forest University. John is the owner of an Internet marketing business - ZeroPricetags - that offers “gadgets,” from video games worth $40 to plasma TVs worth $2000, to reward people who agree to test products or participate in surveys.
* Eric Knudson of Boyds, Md.: Plans to attend Stanford University. Eric is the co-owner of Serve It Up Tennis, LLC. The tennis lesson company boasts more than 700 clients in the last year and has 20 coaches on staff.
* Jacob Lindemann of Manitowoc, Wis.: Plans to attend University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Jacob operates 360 Board Shop, a skateboard supply shop that recently expanded when Jacob bought out another skateboard store near Milwaukee.

This is the fifth consecutive year Visa has been the primary corporate sponsor of the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Young Entrepreneur Awards Program. Since 2003, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation has awarded 1,900 Young Entrepreneur Award Scholarships totaling $2 million.

The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation, in partnership with Visa, also manages an online curriculum to teach budding entrepreneurs the basics of how to start a business. Teachers can download the free program from Visa’s Practical Money Skills for Life financial education program, and the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation’s Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom programs


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