Success Stories

Mariatu “Tu” Browne discovered her passion for hair at the early age of 9 while braiding in her home country of Sierra Leone. As an adult in California, a generous investment from a friend helped her open her first salon. A series of personal hardships compounded by the economic downturn forced her to close her doors. She continued to improve her cosmetology skills by working at other salons and decided to go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and marketing.

Still feeling the pull of entrepreneurship, Tu went to the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center, an SBA-powered resource partner, and completed their 13 week “It’s Your Time: An Entrepreneurial Training Series for Women” (IYT).  Despite the pressures of school and work, the ever positive Tu remained keenly focused on achieving her goals and she received second place in the competition for the best business plan in the IYT program.  Her professional training and continued education led to a... Read More

In 1962 family patriarch Richard Peabody, a WWII Veteran, started manufacturing and distributing equipment for the agricultural industry to improve crop yields. While prospering and growing over the years, his two sons Mark and Larry would work at the company during their summers by building valves, pumps, tanks and trailers which delivered the equipment to the farm fields. This early exposure allowed the sons to learn much of what was to know about the business their father built.  Eventually their father Richard decided he would retire from the company at which time the sons Mark and Larry purchased the company. Challenges ensued when a federal legislative policy greatly impacted the farming community and their business. Mark and Larry vowed to preserve their father’s legacy with a strategy to reinvent the company.

The company sold their line of agricultural equipment and focused on the distribution of plastic pipe, valves, fittings and tanks and thereby set the company on... Read More

Brian Gomez started working in the avocado business at the young age of 22 where he discovered a deep passion for the produce industry.  While working and building relationships with customers and growers, he subsequently took a position with a much larger company selling avocados in the Asian and European markets.  After feeling he had mastered his position, Gomez felt the calling to start his own company in 2014, GreenFruit Avocados, LLC and subsequently added key people with extensive expertise and experience to the company. 

Southern California is very familiar with the popularity of avocados, its health benefits as a superfood and as an essential ingredient to local cuisine.  Nationally, the fruit is beloved in guacamole especially during Super Bowl and other major sporting events.  Along with the growing global avocado consumption the company saw a need to expand the business.  In 2017 it utilized two of SBA’s loan programs by using the 504 loan program to purchase a... Read More

NPI Services, Inc. located in Costa Mesa, California is an electronics manufacturing services company with 14 employees that provides assembly and engineering solutions to R&D engineering including building prototypes, pilot runs and low volume production.  Founded in 1998 by Judy Greenspon, this woman-owned small business has grown from occupying a 200 sq. ft. office 20 years ago to a 7880 sq. ft. newly designed cyber-secure space with professional offices, an electronics lab and assembly area.  Steady growth through sales and marketing efforts coupled with a demand for more engineering services allowed for the company to investment in quality industry certifications. Today NPI supports a diverse customer base that encompasses industries such as: Mil-Aerospace, Space, Medical Device, Telecommunications, Energy and Industrial markets. 

Greenspon utilized SBA services by attending Resource Partner workshops and receiving one-on-one counseling. Throughout her business... Read More

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