About the Awards

The NJ Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards honor current first-generation immigrant business leaders helping local New Jersey communities thrive.  The Awards were created to highlight the history and academic influence of New Jersey’s immigrant entrepreneurs and their contributions to communities throughout the state. The intention of the New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards is to bring together business groups from across the state to join in celebrating the important role of immigrants to today’s economy.  The awards honor immigrants for their achievements in growth, advocacy, innovation, sustainability, and leadership.

Historically, New Jersey’s immigrant entrepreneurs were responsible for the invention of the transistor, the modern brassiere, the submarine, Vitamin C, game theory, prong setting for gemstones, the chemical synthesis of penicillin and instant coffee. Iconic companies like Lipton Tea, Welch’s Grape Juice, Ballantine beer, and Colgate-Palmolive were founded by immigrant entrepreneurs who chose New Jersey for their homes and places of business. During its history, New Jersey was home to the first successful glass making business in the colonies as well as the largest marine engine building shop, the largest parachute production company , the fourth largest brewery, the sixth largest homebuilder in America – all of these companies were founded by immigrant entrepreneurs.

In 2013, our nominees hailed from 4 continents and 15 countries including: Argentina, Brazil, Britain, China, Columbia, Ecuador, France, India, Liberia, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Senegal, South Korea, and Venezuela.  The businesses represented range in type from high-tech firms to human service providers, from manufacturing operations to financial institutions. They represented small mom and pop businesses as well as large corporations.

Our second annual New Jersey Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards were held on Tuesday, December 9th at Fairleigh Dickinson University.  For photos from the awards, please check out our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/NJIEAwards).

Congratulations to our incredible 2014 winners!


Back Row left to right: Shoufeng Li, Lilie Donahue, Raj Sadhu. Front Row left to right: Grigore Burdea, Alfa Demmellash, Marcela Zuchovicki, Mario Casabona

Honorable mentions were awarded to Lilie Donahue, President, Esmer, PS, Saurabh Abrol and Arun Abrol, Founder, President and CEO of the Wine Chateau, Shoufeng Li, CEO, Aucta Pharmaceuticals – A Novo Laboratories Company and Pierre Hage- Boutros, Owner of Pierre’s of South Brunswick.

You can also watch our YouTube videos featuring the winners from last year, which were made by a new Jersey Asian Indian videographer and immigrant entrepreneur (https://www.youtube.com/user/NJIEAwards).

See our award categories