Ernst & Young names local student, Adam Zerbst, Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Scholar

adam jwb

On July 17, 2013, Adam Zerbst, CEO of Adam’s All Natural and 2012 YEScarolina State Business Plan Competition Finalist, received the 2012-2013 Ernst & Young Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Scholar Award of $1,000. Adam is a 2013 graduate of James Island Charter High School.

Adam’s All Natural, a snack food start-up, seeks to “provide the consumer with healthy, natural, great tasting food items.” Adam is working on expanding his business, currently based in the Lowcountry.

Adam, who will attend Trident Technical College this fall on the Mark Motley Foundation Scholarship, took second place in the 2012 YEScarolina State Business Plan Competition. He then traveled to New York City last October and participated in the NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) National Challenge.

Herb Engert of Ernst & Young said of the award, “At Ernst & Young we know our future depends on entrepreneurs, as they are the key to innovation, economic growth, and job creation. To that end, we are committed to helping these young people achieve their potential through education around entrepreneurship so that we can one day celebrate their story.”

Among his many accolades, Adam was the recipient of the 2013 Daniel Treanor Award presented by the worldwide Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. The award annually recognizes the student who has overcome mental or physical challenges to accomplish his/her dreams.

Born with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, Adam constantly faces adversity – “It’s challenging mentally and physically. Physically because I’m not as capable as people my age. That makes you mentally distressed. I still have a hard time with it,” he explains. Yet Adam accepts and deals with the challenges, as he says, “Overcoming obstacles is not a new concept in my life; it’s something I will deal with indefinitely and welcome.”

Jimmy Bailey, founder and executive director of YEScarolina, said, “I could not be prouder of Adam. His success with Adam’s All Natural is an inspiration to me and to entrepreneurs everywhere. I wish him all the best as he develops his business and look forward to working more with him in the future.”