Success Stories

Ayuda Companies leverages SBA programs for business success

When Maria Velez began Ayuda Companies in 2002 she knew the focus of the business needed to center around her core values of commitment, courage, creativity, consistency, challenges, compassion, and community. In the beginning the business had one employee and $33,000 in revenue. Today, Ayuda Companies has grown to 40 employees and $16 million in revenues. 

Maria Velez learned very early in life about the importance of hard work and treating people fairly. She learned these principles from her grandfather who taught himself English and worked his way up to becoming the head chef at Jack Dempsey’s Broadway Restaurant in New York City. Maria Velez comes from an Ecuadorian family of entrepreneurs including her dad who started an IT company, and her aunt who ran a successful snack stand in Cuenca, Ecuador.  She was taught that nothing would be handed to you in life, and no task is worth doing unless you are willing to go above and beyond and do it right.

Ayuda Companies... Read More

Teresa Porter named Colorado Small Business Person of the Year for 2015

Teresa Porter, CEO of ISYS Technologies has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2015 Colorado Small Business Person of the Year. ISYS Technologies is a woman-owned small business that provides engineering and information technology services to federal, state, and local government entities.  Headquartered in Littleton, CO, the firm serves key national customers including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, NASA, and many other federal civilian agencies.

Porter joined ISYS Technologies in May 2002 and under her leadership re-organized the business as a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) that targeted its services to federal, state and local government customers worldwide. She has a 30-year sales and management background in the technology industry, which includes diverse experience managing both small and large service organizations.  Beginning her career in accounting/finance with the Burroughs Corporation in 1980, she quickly... Read More

Jessica Acosta acheives a business breakthrough

When Jessica Acosta was faced with the prospect of not having a job she made the only decision she could make. She decided to start her own small business.

Jessica became the Founder and CEO of Environmental Consulting Services (ECS), LLC. ECS was established to service and address environmental management and water quality compliance needs of private, federal, state and local clients.

But her decision to start a business was not without some of the common hurdles that other women-owned small business owners encounter. In fact, a former supervisor told her she had three things working against her – being female, young and Latina. Even then Jessica was determined to be successful. Her response was “Wait and see; I’m going to make those things work for me instead of against me.”

Jessica was smart enough to realize she didn’t know everything she needed to know about how to start her business. Having come from the construction industry with certifications as an... Read More

André Smith, a Colorado resident and recent graduate of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Operation Boots to Business (B2B) program recently won $10,000 in a national Business Plan writing competition. This was part of the Realizing Your Dream Business Competition, a year-long opportunity for veterans who are established or aspiring entrepreneurs to submit formal small business plans in hopes of receiving a share of $130,000 in available seed funding. The Citi Foundation provided funding for the Realizing Your Dream Business Competition. The 17 semi-finalist contestants had to pitch their products and services as part of the final competition. André won $10,000 and third place in the national Business Plan competition. His plan won an additional $5,000 for being chosen as the Best Tech Venture.

André Smith is a recently discharged 26 year veteran of the US Navy. While going through the military honorable discharge process at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado... Read More