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July 10, 2007 at 08:00 AM EDT
Wells Fargo, NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Award Scholarships

SAN FRANCISCO, July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wells Fargo Foundation and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Young Entrepreneur Foundation have recognized 26 high school students with the first NFIB /Wells Fargo Young Entrepreneur Awards. The awards honor entrepreneurial spirit and initiative with a $1,000 college scholarship.

The recipients are outstanding young men and women from across the country who have turned their dreams into successful small businesses or have pursued their passions by working for small businesses. The college scholarship awards will enable these students to further their education while encouraging them to become America's next generation entrepreneurs. Since its creation in 2002, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation has recognized the entrepreneurial dreams of 15,000 students with scholarships totaling $1.7 million.

"As the voice of small business, our members believe it is critical to promote entrepreneurship and free enterprise to America's youth," remarked Hank Kopcial, executive director of NFIB's Young Entrepreneur Foundation. "This year we awarded 422 NFIB Young Entrepreneur scholarships with the financial support from small business leaders, foundations, and corporations. We're very pleased to have Wells Fargo as a 2007 awards sponsor to help us recognize the outstanding achievements of these bright young men and women entrepreneurs."

To be considered for the awards, students had to demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit and initiative, and be enrolled as freshmen at an accredited 2- or 4- year university, college, or vocational/technical institute for this fall. Award winners were required to submit a transcript, typed 1000-word essay describing their entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a nomination from an NFIB member. The winners were chosen by an independent committee.

"Wells Fargo is proud to sponsor these awards with the NFIB to support entrepreneurial students who will become tomorrow's business leaders," said Dean Thorp, head of the Wells Fargo Foundation for California. "We share the NFIB's commitment to help small business owners, even young business owners, turn their passions into businesses and succeed financially -- in business and personally."

Wells Fargo and the NFIB share a twenty-year history based on a mutual desire to support the growth of successful small businesses. Wells Fargo has underwritten NFIB Research Foundation projects and sponsored the bi-annual National NFIB Small Business Summit and other NFIB activities and events, since 1998.

About National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation

The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation's youth. More information is available at The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation's leading small-business advocacy association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB's powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America's free enterprise system.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $486 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 6,000 stores and the internet ( across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the U.S., and one of only two banks worldwide, to have the highest credit rating from both Moody's Investors Service, "Aaa," and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, "AAA."

Providing financial products and services to more than one and a half million businesses with annual sales up to $20 million in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, Wells Fargo is America's #1 small business lender in total dollar volume according to the most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) data (2005). The second largest national Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in dollars, Wells Fargo is an SBA Preferred Lender in 28 states and the District of Columbia, and originated 4,937 loans for $578 million in 2006. Its diverse business services programs provide outreach and education to women, African American, Latino, and Asian business owners about financial services. Since 1995, Wells Fargo has loaned more than $33 billion to women and diverse business owners. For more information, please visit

Source: Wells Fargo

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