Success Stories

Ethel Taylor didn’t own a dog before she started the Doggie Washerette. “God gave me the vision to figure this all out,” Taylor said of her first stab at small business.

In the early spring of 2011 with the fully completed vision in her mind, Taylor got help from the DC Women’s Business Center, which is funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. At the Center, she navigated the startup path, learned to “trim the fat” from her business plan, and prepared solidly for her opening day through projections and strategic planning. Despite being a first-time entrepreneur during a recession, Taylor finished the 7-week course in August of 2011 and opened her business that same month.

“My experience with the DC Women’s Business Center has been extraordinary,” she said. “The support has been outstanding. The information has been enlightening. The encouragement has been far beyond anything I could have imagined, especially with the presence... Read More

Raul “Danny” Vargas rose from an impoverished childhood in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to become a distinguished leader and role model among the businesspeople of his community. Danny served seven years in the U.S. Air Force, including five years in Panama where he supervised airborne reconnaissance missions. After his discharge he returned to school and became the first member of his family to earn a college degree.

He put his degree to work for Raytheon Corporation, playing a key role in expanding their business in the areas of training, operations and intelligence analysis support to the federal government. He spent after six years at Global One, where as Director of Corporate and Carrier sales for the Americas Region (ranging from Canada to Chile) he generated over $140 million in revenue in 1999. After a stint at France Telecom, he went to work at AOL, ultimately serving as their VP for Latin America. 

In 2004, while still working at AOL, Danny started his own... Read More

It Started with a Boomerang

Amy Frey’s international trade consulting business, ATC International, Inc., of Silver Spring, Md., began in 1991 with boomerangs. And her business has been booming ever since. Her dream of a career in international trade began as a child when her father would return from foreign trips with a gift of a doll dressed in native attire. But instead of dreaming of a doll house, Frey dreamed of a warehouse.

In college and graduate school Frey studied international business. After graduation, Frey was offered a job in Australia identifying companies to receive government grants and assistance for exporting.

As Frey was preparing to leave Australia in 1990, several companies impressed with her skills suggested she provide consulting services upon her return to the U.S.
That suggestion led Frey to start ATC International. The company began in a small bedroom with a fax machine. “The fax would ring in the middle of the night (which was the middle of the day in... Read More

Building a Successful Business by Exceeding Expectations

Fulfilling her lifelong love of science, Payal Tak journeyed from her native India in the mid 1980s to continue her education in the United States. The life sciences soon gave way to computer science earning Tak academic degrees in Computer Science and in Telecommunications Systems Management.

Tak began climbing the career ladder in the information technology industry where she undertook several challenging assignments and was recognized for her significant contributions and leadership skills.

She led a highly successful user acceptance test of a multi-million dollar telecommunications billing system that is in use in national and international telecommunications markets today. Her next career climb was an assignment that placed her in the heart of the fast-paced commercial telecommunications industry where she led several projects.

Recognizing her ability for effective customer service and management, Tak established Telesis Corporation in... Read More

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