Recognizing Risks and Rewarding Resilience

Regent University’s School of Business & Leadership (SBL) hosted the eighth annual Entrepreneurs Excellence Awards (EEA) Monday, June 15. Hundreds packed the ballroom at The Founder’s Inn to hear the inspiring stories of award recipients. Regent partners with Inside Business, – The Hampton Roads Business Journal, to make the event possible. Recipients are selected by a panel of judges, including local business leaders and Dr. Greg Stone, SBL professor.

“Entrepreneurship is global, so SBL is influencing a global community of leaders, followers, employees, clients and societies,” said Stone. “Supporting the EEA event supports that regional community of entrepreneurial activity β€” a natural sandbox in which SBL should participate. SBL provides learning environments that foster transforming leaders and entrepreneurs within global spheres of influence. The EEA provides a forum where grassroots entrepreneurial activity can be recognized, acknowledged and shared.”

According to Inside Business , the Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards aim to “highlight the entrepreneurial spirit of Hampton Roads individuals as a way to inspire others to create solid business plans, find strong mentors and partners, and take the risk to start their own business venture.” Eleven recipients represented a wide range of industries including material handling, health care, engineering, aerospace, pest control, therapy, financial services and environmental protection.

Winners were selected based on their entrepreneurial spirit, strategic thinking, emphasis on innovation, business performance, community impact, and personal ingenuity and influence. All created new businesses that grew into successful, sustainable operations. Spouses, employees, bankers, attorneys, marketing and advertising agencies, public relations firms and entrepreneurs were encouraged to submit nominations. Many of the recipients faced significant challenges and took significant risks to get their businesses going.

“Everybody with an idea for a new business finds himself or herself facing a mountain of questions,” said Stone. “Events such as the EEA provide guests and students with a collegial environment in which they can ask questions and gain tremendous encouragement to proceed.”

Besides a luncheon where winners were recognized, the event included a panel discussion featuring local entrepreneurs who provided insights and advice for people who are interested in starting their own companies.

β€œThe panel discussion addressed many of my questions and concerns as I work on my own startup business,” said MBA student Tao Tang, β€˜16 (SBL). “It was a great opportunity to get connected with other incredible entrepreneurs during luncheon.”