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Kari Weigel Named 2018 SBA North Dakota Small Business Person of the Year

Release Date: 
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Release Number: 
Sheri Weston, 701-239-5044,

FARGO, N.D. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2018 North Dakota Small Business Person of the Year is Kari Weigel, Executive Director and Owner of Sylvan Learning Center in Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota.  Sylvan Learning Center is a franchise business that offers personalized tutoring on a number of subjects, as well as study skills and ACT prep courses, primarily to students in grades K-12.

Since purchasing the Bismarck business in 2008, Weigel has acquired the Fargo center and expanded to three satellite locations throughout the state of North Dakota. Her business also operates after school STEM programs in five schools in Bismarck and Fargo. This growth has allowed Weigel to increase her number of employees by about 50 percent. When Weigel determined she needed a new building to meet her growth plan, an SBA 504 loan helped her construct it.

"Kari Weigel is an outstanding example of the entrepreneurial spirit," SBA North Dakota District Director Alan Haut said. "It's my honor to recognize her achievements and I'm pleased that SBA helped support her business growth."

The SBA Small Business Person of the Year award – part of National Small Business Week April 29-May 5, 2018 – recognizes small business owners who demonstrate staying power and substantiated history as an established business with at least three years of business operation. Winners must also show growth in net worth and business expansion, increase in jobs and sales, innovativeness of products or services, response to adversity and contributions to community-oriented projects.

In addition to running a growing business, Weigel is involved in her community. She is a volunteer with Junior Achievement where she teaches elementary kids about economics and business. She also provides ACT Prep and Speed Reading workshops and provides services for Legacy Children's Foundation. Weigel supports various organizations including local schools, Make-A-Wish, Special Olympics, Parkinson's support groups, and the Cystic Fibrosis Association.

Small Business Person of the Year winners from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam will be honored at events and ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on April 29 and 30 when one of them will be selected as the National Small Business Person of the Year.

Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.

For more information about National Small Business Week, visit


About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

About the SBA North Dakota District Office
The SBA North Dakota District serves the state of North Dakota with locations in Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks. SBA North Dakota District staff provides resources and services in three areas referred to as “the three C’s” – counseling, capital and contracting. Visit or follow @SBA_NorthDakota for more information including resource partners, lenders, workshops, success stories and other resources to help business start, grow and succeed.