The University of Missouri-Kansas City has awarded David Steward the 2022 Henry W. Bloch International Entrepreneur of the Year. Steward is the founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, which is one of the largest Black-owned companies in the United States.
The 36th Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards will be presented by UMKC Bloch School of Management. Along with the International Entrepreneur of the Year award, three other awards will be presented to celebrate the achievements of Missouri entrepreneurs. A student entrepreneur of the year will be awarded along with the Kansas City Entrepreneur of the Year and the Marion and John Kreamer Award for Social Entrepreneurship.
Steward, a graduate of Central Missouri State University, has been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the 13 Black billionaires globally and ranks 239 on the Forbes list of 400 American billionaires in 2021.
After working as a sales executive for FedEx, Steward pursued his longtime goal to own his own business. He founded World Wide Technology (WWT) in 1990 with a small staff and a dream to grow the company into a powerhouse within the information technology sector. WWT currently operates in 20 facilities across the globe, employing more than 9,000 people, and generates more than $14.5 billion in annual revenue.
Although Steward has been lauded for his business accomplishments he comes from a working-class family in Clinton, Missouri, and faced racism and poverty as a youth. Steward is a philanthropist and founded the Steward Family Foundation to create opportunities for Black and under-represented individuals and serves on the Harris-Stowe State College African-American Business Leadership Council.
Beginning in 1985, The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is an event to recognize Kansas City CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. The 2022 event will be the first in-person event since 2019 and begins at 5 p.m. on Oct. 12. There will be a Student Venture Showcase highlighting projects and student works followed by the awards program. Tickets for the event are available for purchase at UMKCalumni.com/events.