The Stevie Awards Blog

How Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year Inspires Business Growth through Community Involvement

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 @ 02:18 PM

Becky McKinnell, President and Founder of iBec Creative in Portland, Maine, USA, was named Best Young Entrepreneur in the 8th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business. (Entries for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives and the organizations they run, will open in May. Join our mailing list and the entry kit for the 2013 awards will be emailed to you when entries open.) Let’s take a look at what motivates McKinnell.

Becky McKinnell, President of iBec CreativeBecky McKinnell describes her company, iBec Creative, as an innovator in intuitive marketing and design, combining functional technology and artistry, and drawing on a mix of traditional and emerging media.

On winning her Stevie Award last November, Becky commented: “I was humbled to be in the ranks of so many amazing businesswomen from around the country and the world."  She added: “Winning this award is a testimony to the quality work of all our iBec employees.” 

Rapid Growth
At just 27 years old, Becky McKinnell has taken iBec Creative through a tremendous period of growth. She started the company in 2006 when she recognized the need for a fresh approach to website and traditional design services in southern Maine.

At first a solo operation, iBec has now expanded to 15 employees and 260 active clients from around the country, 71 of those clients added in the past two years.

From 2010 to 2011, iBec’s rapid growth included:

  • 49% increase in revenues
  • 65% increase in profits, and
  • 50% increase in staff

iBec Creative has become a leader in Maine for its Mobile Web technology and recently launched a new affordable intranet platform solution.

The company celebrated its 6th anniversary in May 2012.

Community Involvement
In addition to leading a successful and growing business, Becky is heavily involved in her community, focusing on the education of youth, development of her industry, and support of women business leaders.  Over the past year she has contributed in the following ways:

    • As a spokesperson for the University of Southern Maine’s Entrepreneurial program, educating college students on how to be successful in business;

    • As a featured speaker at Maine Youth Leadership, a 4-day seminar on leadership and service for statewide high school sophomores, on life after college;

    • As Marketing Chair on the board of TechMaine, a statewide trade association for Maine's technology industries;

    • As Vice President of the Board of Port Resources, a provider of specialized social services for adults and children with developmental disabilities;

    • As a featured speaker for PROPEL, the young professional’s sector of the Portland Maine Chamber of Commerce;

    • As a featured speaker and case study for the Maine Women’s Fund, a philanthropic and leadership community for women in Maine;

    • And as an ongoing part of the USM Think Campaign to strengthen the state of Maine.

      Becky also donates time and services from her business to various non-profits, and contributed some 2000 hours in pro bono work over the past year.

      Commenting on her heavy commitments, Becky says: “As a young entrepreneur, I know that having a strong network of role models is vital to continued success and innovation.” 

      Recognition & Awards
      Becky was recognized in 2011 for her success as a Maine business leader and young entrepreneur with an Entreverge Award from the Portland Chamber of Commerce. This award recognizes area entrepreneurs for their innovation and contribution to the Maine business community. She also received a “Top 40 Under 40” award that recognizes Maine’s emerging stars under 40 years old for their commitment to leadership, professional excellence, and their communities. iBec Creative has received recognition for its work in web design with finalist titles for three award categories in the 2011 TechMaine awards.

      Added Becky: "We are proud to be recognized for our work in bringing the latest in technology solutions to our clients. With continual advances in digital marketing, responsive design, and social media, clients can confidently rely on our team to keep their websites and social media outlets fresh and growing results.”

      About Becky McKinnell:
      Becky McKinnell, President of iBec Creative, located in Portland, Maine, is known as a leader of the next generation of Internet marketers. She was recently named by BusinessWeek as one of the country's “Top 25 Entrepreneurs 25 and Under”, and as the SBA's “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” in Maine. Formally trained in the arts and entrepreneurial studies, Becky brings a technically savvy and fresh sense to marketing design and the application of multi-media.

      Becky graduated from University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Entrepreneurial Studies. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for Port Resources.

      About iBec Creative:
      iBec Creative is a leading provider of website and traditional design services based in Portland, Maine. iBec Creative brings fresh ideas and an intuitive understanding of technology to its work of creating appealing websites and building online marketing campaigns. It is an enthusiastic partner with clients in creating branding and marketing solutions.

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