US Small Business Administation has Honored Robby Hill as Young Entrepeneur of the Year for both South Carolina and Southeastern USA for the Year 2007
FLORENCE, SC—April 6, 2007—by: Terry Ward, reporter—Florence Morning News
Robby Hill, 24, has been lending his computer expertise to businesses for more than 18 years. At age 6, he set up a computer-based billing system for his aunt's flower shop. This week, Hill was named the 2007 Small Business Administration's Young Entrepreneur for South Carolina - and for the Southeast region of the country.
Hill will receive his award at the "Salute to Small Business," a program beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
Hill is the founder and chief operating officer of Florence's HillSouth LLC, a business he started when he was 16.
"This is a great momentum-builder for [HillSouth], and I expect it will help us grow even more," he said of the award.
Hill also said his goals always have been to own a successful business and to work in the information technology field HillSouth's services include Web design, network monitoring, computer product sales, marketing assistance and computer support services. Hill's business employs nine people and serves some of the top companies in the Pee Dee, including Webster Rogers and Pee Dee Electric Cooperative. The Fortune 500 firm CDW SolutionEdge is among the company's national-level clients
Through a detailed-application process, HillSouth also has been designated as a small bueniess partner of by Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard "The challenges of starting a business at 16 are hard to describe," Hill said He said his age was an impediment then, but the process helped build character. Hill said the company started out by doing small jobs for companies on an occasional basis.
"But, eventually, they saw the value that we brought to them, and we grew from there," Hill said. "We'd start out doing a job for one department and then get a job for another department in the company, and word spread from that." Hill said he also learned from the expertise of other small-business owners who were members of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. In fact, Gerry Madison, director of the small and minority business division of the Greater Florence Chamber, nominated him for the SBA Young Entrepreneur award.
"Everybody at the chamber, the whole staff, put a lot of work into putting the SBA application together," Hill said. "They contacted [HillSouth] clients for recommendations and put in a lot of effort." Hill said he advises chamber membership to any business, and said he hopes he can offer the same type of assistance he received to new entrepreneurs. "I would like to give something back to them," he said.
HillSouth, formed 2001 in Florence, South Carolina is an experienced information technology consulting firm. HillSouth puts clients first and has grown to attract customers in a variety of industries from financial to electric utilities to healthcare. The company boasts certifications from industry-leading vendors such as Cisco, Microsoft, EMC, and VMWare.