This award serves to recognize individuals who are under 30 years old and are majority small business owners.
The 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award goes to Nick Gregori and Paul Rineholt of Dorchester Decoy Rentals in Cambridge, nominated by the Maryland Small Business Development Center - Eastern Region.
Nick and Paul met in college and became fast friends, sharing a love of the outdoors and hunting. They couldn’t wait for goose hunting season - until it arrived and they realized something was missing….Decoys! In case you aren’t aware, they’re as important as a hunting license and gun. Like most college students, money was tight, but they scraped together a decoy fund and headed to the sporting goods store where they faced sticker shock and left with empty pockets and only a few decoys. Worse yet, it turns out they were never able to hunt that year.
Wanting to recoup their loss, the pair began to brainstorm. They figured they couldn’t be the only ones with limited funds and storage space, so they decided to rent their decoys. Their innovative service makes for a more enjoyable hunt, offering the customer a selection of decoys that would take years to accumulate personally; convenient delivery or pick up options and eliminates the stress and expense of off-season storage and maintenance.
The pair is quickly making a name for themselves and their customer base is growing steadily with each hunting season. Of course, “behind every great man,” in this case men, “is a great woman” and the two have Paul’s girlfriend, Shelby, to thank for handling much of the administrative duties, scheduling and special events.
Both are active members of their community, including participating in a variety of Ducks Unlimited conservation and recreational events, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and with the Men’s group at church.