A company merger isn’t exactly an inspiration point for most, but for Phnewfula it was the perfect opportunity. She was working at MCA records when it went through a merger, which provided her with about a month of downtime. She decided to utilize the time and pursue her plan of opening a clothing store. Instead of going out and looking for real estate for her store, Phnewfula started a website. Her innovative approach is what made her business a success. The Red Lemon Store is a one stop shopping destination with clothes, beauty products and great gifts. Phnewfula shows that with a little ingenuity, determination and style you can achieve your goal.
Warren Brown, 36, has been stirring up a storm of praise for his bakery CakeLove. In 2006 he was recognized by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as Entrepreneur of the Year. And in both 2005 and 2006 CakeLove was awarded Best Bakery in Washington, DC. Warren’s honors speak for themselves, however what they don’t say is how he got started. Warren was working as a lawyer when he decided to switch his suit for an apron. He took a risk and started baking delicious desserts with all natural ingredients. For the quality and success of his work Warren has been featured on CNN, the Food Network, and in The New York Times. The success of CakeLove is great but even better is its dedication to the environment. As part of a partnership with Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and Clean Currents, it has switched to
100% green power (wind power) in an effort to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and to encourage greater energy independence. And for those of us outside the Washington DC area there is hope, he recently opened locations in Maryland and Virginia. One can only hope he expands all across the country! To read more about Warren Brown and Cake Love read on in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
The goal of Vision XY is to empower one billion emerging leaders worldwide with information that will enable them to make a positive impact in their family, community, nation, and world. The man behind the “Vision” is 28-year-old Joshua Fredenburg. His first book “Vision, the Answer to Generation X and Y,” inspired the organization, but it is his continued dedication to helping people become leaders that makes it a success. In addition to writing books to spread his message, Joshua travels the country giving speeches to schools, churches, and non-profits. However, he does not stop at just expressing his own ideas, instead he offers others a platform from which to speak. His show “Speak On It,” provides an arena for people to voice their opinions and bring solutions to various political, social, and relevant issues of our day. Several times throughout the year he hosts the show remotely from a college campus to give more young people an opportunity to get involved and speak up. To learn more about Vision XY read on in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
For much of his life, Tawheed Kader has looked at the daily annoyances of life and said, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” Back in the early ’90s, he used that mindset to help automate his father’s business. Today, he has used it to co-found and develop HipCal, an online calendar that minimizes the overhead it takes to get your life organized. With HipCal, users can ditch their dinky day planners and instead rely on a cutting-edge technology that ensures they always have their friends’ latest contact information and are updated on where they need to be. Soon after Tawheed, 24, and his fellow co-founders created HipCal, it was acquired by Plaxo, where Tawheed is now a product manager. Tawheed sees life as an adventure and is always working on side projects. Right now, he’s working on a Facebook application and a site that lets companies and bloggers get closer to their visitors. To learn more about this thrill-seeking entrepreneur who’s always up to something, check out this week’s Young & Professional Profile
Major film studios spend $30 million or even more to market a movie, but Rajal Pitroda‘s firm, Beyond the Box Productions, works to get audiences to notice films with marketing budgets that are often less than $1 million. The company markets and helps distribute independent films, creating individualized marketing strategies and providing alternative distribution deals. It is especially committed to films involving economic, social, and political issues, particularly those that pertain to women and adolescents. As a partner at Beyond the Box, Rajal, 29, scouts for innovative films, designs marketing plans for clients, and oversees the online and wireless portions of the company’s work. It all builds off her previous career in Bollywood, where she worked with the Confederation of Indian Industry and was involved with setting up the India Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival. To learn more about Rajal and her movie marketing, check out this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
Angela Page, 33, took her finance degree and her love of design and turned them into a successful business. Stepping outside the box, she chose to leave the security of a corporate job and pursue her dream. The result? Le Creatif Designs, LLC., a successful interior design consulting firm launched in 2000. In 2007 Angela will open Le Creatif Design Gallery, which will offer quality, fashionable and unique furniture to the sophisticated client. Angela’s success is due in large part to her outlook on life, “Your dreams will inspire you but your goals will keep you moving in the right direction.” This belief has carried her through the many challenges of a small business owner. In 2005, she was awarded the Miller Urban Entrepreneur Series Business Plan Contest, which enabled her to invest more in her business. Angela’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed, in 2007 she was nominated Black Enterprise Magazine’s Rising Star of the year. To learn more about Angela and how she turned her dreams into a successful business, read on in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
Sade Sobande, 27, and her colleagues were in search of a place to develop as African entrepreneurs when they realized that place didn’t exist. Instead of giving up they took action and created The African Network, an organization whose purpose is to foster the growth of entrepreneurship and technology in Africa and the African diaspora. Their organization has managed to both develop individual entrepreneurs here in the Silicon Valley as well as to develop the future of Africa. Not only have they held a successful conference, in which they discussed the future of science and technology in Africa, they have also held networking events that enable members to interact and learn from speakers from the worlds of technology, business, government, and academia. One of their largest accomplishments has been the development of The TAN Empowerment Program, which in 2006 donated computers to needy schools in Sierra Leone. For more information on The African Network and how you can get involved, read on in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight.
Nearly a decade ago, when Ron Parikh and three of his friends were in college, they put their intense entrepreneurial energies together and bought up a billiards parlor. A few years later, they entered the restaurant business by opening up a franchise of Genghis Grill, a Mongolian stir-fry restaurant. Today, their Chalak Group of Companies owns the franchise rights to the restaurant, which now has 13 operating units. Genghis Grill lets customers create their own meals by selecting ingredients from a food bar and then letting a grill master cook it all up in a public performance. As Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Ron, 27, develops marketing plans for the Genghis Grill brand and supports the individual restaurants with advertising, promotions, and branding the concept. The aim of it all is to grow Genghis Grill into as many locations as possible and turn the brand into a household name. Check out this amazing young restaurateur in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
At age 10 not only did Kenji Jasper know he was going to be a Writer, he also began his career. He worked as an anchorman at a local television show. At 12, he began interning at the Washington Informer. Not many people can claim the same, but then again, 31-year-old Kenji is not just anyone. He has worked for NPR as a radio commentator, taught in the classroom and written several novels. His first novel, “Dark,” made both the Washington Post and New York Times’ best seller lists, and was just optioned to be made into a film by Fox Searchlight Pictures. He also Founded his own company, Words Lines and Phrases, an editorial services firm that works with clients ranging from magazines and websites to individuals. Although he has excelled in many fields, writing still remains his passion. His love of story telling is the common thread that connects all of his endeavors. Learn more about Kenji and his many projects as we feature him in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
Gaining admission into an elite MBA program or top-ranked college is a highly competitive process. Differentiating oneself to stand out from all the applicants is no easy feat. That’s where the services of Expartus, an admissions consulting company headed by CEO Chioma Isiadinso, can give a prospective student that winning edge. Chioma, 36, Co-Founded Expartus after working for Harvard Business School’s MBA admissions board. Her company uses personal branding to help clients market themselves effectively to their most desired programs. Admissions advisors and
brand strategists provide personalized services, helping each client with the unique challenges and concerns he or she faces. In addition to providing individual consulting services, Expartus also conducts seminars and workshops, including its new “Brand Your Way to an MBA” workshop. To learn more about how Chioma and Expartus are helping students get into their dream schools, check out this week’s Young & Professional Profile.