Selection as a Wilford L. White Fellow is the highest recognition that the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) gives to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development, furtherance and benefit of small and medium sized businesses. The award was created in 1977 and was named for Dr. Wilford L. White, the ICSB’s founder and visionary leader. Dr. White, along with a handful of US government and academic leaders in the early 1950s, saw the need to establish a professional body to enhance and encourage small business management and entrepreneurship practices in the United States.

As a result of their efforts, the National Council for Small Business Management Development was created in 1955. The council held its first annual conference in Colorado. The National Council existed until the late 1970s, when under the leadership of the council’s president, Dr. Ole Johnson and others it became apparent that the world had accepted entrepreneurship and small business as the vehicle to future economic growth and prosperity.

The newly named International Council for Small Business was born in 1977, and at that time, there were only two affiliates; the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) and the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (CCSBE). Today, the ICSB has over 3,000 members with 16 affiliates and numerous international members in at least 60 different countries.

The Wilford L. White Award recognizes the achievements of those men and women whose passion and burning desire for small business and entrepreneurship is reflected in their teaching, writing, research, training and public service. Since 1977, over ninety one distinguished educators, researchers, government officials, small business advocates and trade association leaders have been selected as a Wilford White Fellow.

The current Chair and ICSB Past President/Wilford L. White Fellows representative to the ICSB board is Charles Matthews. (Fellows who have unfortunately passed away are identified with an asterisk; Fellows elected posthumously are noted with a double asterisk.)

GWU School of Business
2201 G. Street, NW Funger Hall Suite 315 Washington, DC 20052 USA
Phone: +1 202 994-0704 Fax: +1 202 994-4930

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