American Entrepreneurship Award in Miami-Dade now open for entries

American Entrepreneurship Award in Miami-Dade now open for entries
American Entrepreneurship Award in Miami-Dade now open for entries
Pictured (l-r) at the 2016 award ceremony are Xavier Stewart, program officer at AEA; Hakeem Muhammad, founder of Loudhouse; Thomas Byrd, co-founders of Alula; Marilu Kernan, co-founder of Pepe Loves Books; Taryn Keim, software designer at Pepe Loves Books; Alain Fernandez, founder of ValueDoc; Paula Fernandez, COO at ValueDoc; Cheveral Deacon, founder of Statlab; Kristina Jones, co-founder of CourtBuddy; James Jones Jr., co-founder of CourtBuddy; Carla Brillembourg-Clark, deputy head of Social Responsibility at the Libra Group; Jimmy Athanasopoulos, head of Social Responsibility at the Libra Group; Maurice Owens, head of Washington, DC, Office, Libra Group), and Gina Crivelli, Social Responsibility administrative assistant at the Libra Group).

The American Entrepreneurship Award (AEA), a program created and funded by the Libra Group to support American startup businesses and entrepreneurs, recently announced that it has begun accepting submissions for its second annual award.

Entrepreneurs once again are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to receive vital business funding and ongoing coaching from experienced business leaders on how to grow their businesses effectively, including advice on how best to harness the power of technology and innovation within their business plans.

The AEA focuses on identifying promising entrepreneurs in Miami-Dade County and the Bronx, NY, whose business plans exhibit sustainability, innovation and a positive impact on the local communities. Applications can be submitted at until April 27 and winners will be announced in June.

Interested entrepreneurs also can take advantage of an array of training events slated for March and April, including business ideation, entrepreneurship legal clinics, and funding and marketing boot camps, to help improve their applications.

“As an international business, we’ve always felt a responsibility to give back to the communities in which we operate, and to provide opportunity,” said Jimmy Athanasopoulos, head of Social Responsibility for the Libra Group. “This is a core value of our group and the AEA is emblematic of our continued commitment to this. I am extremely proud of the progress last year’s winners have made and look forward to seeing the exciting ideas that this year’s entrepreneurs come up with.”

Launched with an initial $500,000 commitment from Libra, the AEA provides winners with a share of $125,000 in business startup funding, as well as mentorship and business support services. The group was inspired to create the award when it became a founding sponsor of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance), a non-profit organization launched by President Barack Obama aimed at eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps for boys and young men of color. Additional local AEA supporters include Miami Dade College and The Idea Center at Miami Dade College.

The award’s panel of judges comprises a group of seasoned entrepreneurs including Daymond John, the founder of FUBU, Presidential Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship and co-star of ABC’s Shark Tank.

To learn more about the American Entrepreneurship Award, visit

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