The Hottest Young Entrepreneurs of 2008

The Hottest Young Entrepreneurs of 2008

by Sherry Ciurczak, December 2009

Successful businesses are founded and nurtured to incredible success by people of all ages; the creative spirit shines through in both young and old. Perhaps it's the desire to make a mark on the world or the allure of the freedom that entrepreneurship brings. Or maybe it's the burning desire to control one's own destiny. In any case, there is no shortage of creative, entrepreneurial individuals, even when the economy slows down. Need proof? Take a look at a few of the hottest young entrepreneurs of 2008.

Digging the Internet

The explosion of online communities and news outlets has revolutionized the way people receive information. One of the internet's best traits is that it puts control directly into the hands of users. Internet entrepreneur Kevin Rose, founder of, helped make that happen. With a modest investment in a web designer's services and a domain name, Rose founded the wildly popular content sharing site. Now millions of Internet users post their content with a "Digg it" tag to share the wealth of information.

Production with Style

Polina Fashion, a fashion production services company, was founded by a young entrepreneur who knows fashion—as a former model, Polina Raygorodskaya understands the business inside and out. She decided to apply that knowledge to start her new company and quickly found success, producing numerous fashion events in 2008 and making even bigger plans for 2009.

A Sense of Community

Sumaya Kazi, a former marketing manager at Sun Microsystems, founded CultureConnect to give young minorities a sense of place as they started their professional careers. The online publishing enterprise offers local reports, travel stories, and social networking opportunities that give members from all over the world a way to connect. Kazi also founded a nonprofit company, IGAD (I Give A Damn), which aims to build a network of young philanthropists worldwide.

Tailor-Made for Success

For Shawn Liu, being a business owner is a family tradition. Liu's father started an ink exporting business, and the younger Liu had a ringside seat to see what running a company was all about. His immigrant parents took him on trips to China and Hong Kong, so he gained a familiarity with Asian markets. After college, Shawn Liu founded Hillhouse Tailors, which imports men's dress shirts from Shanghai for the US market. Liu expects to expand his horizons by adding other merchandise in the future.

As these young entrepreneurs demonstrate, there is plenty of ingenuity and creative drive in young people today. No matter how the economy is doing, people with ingenuity and ambition can make a go of it.

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