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Success Stories

It all started with two women entrepreneurs and a 12’ x 10’ foot office. When Barbara Hines and Nancy Froome started SSD in 1983, they were widely recognized as pioneers in the male-dominated software industry. Today, with a third partner, Nick Romano, they are known for their staying power in an industry that has experienced dramatic changes over the past 26 years.

Founded as Software Services of Delaware, Inc., the company now does business as SSD Technology Partners, a name that encompasses the spirit of how the three principals conduct business. Constantly adapting to the changing market demands of the technology sector, SSD held its ground over the years and grew into a $5 million technology firm with 27 employees.

The company provides technology expertise to small and medium-sized businesses, non-profits and universities. SSD’s services include consulting, programming, business continuity solutions, network architecture, management, and maintenance.... Read More

Sheila Tucker worked as a pharmacist for more than 20 years in several chain pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes and as a consultant, and while she liked her job, she wanted her own business.

“I always knew I wanted to have my own pharmacy,” Tucker said. “I just didn’t have a clue as to how I was going to do it.”

Tucker found help at the Small Business Development Center in Wilmington and funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to make her vision of owning a pharmacy reality.

In 2003, a store-front location at 1914 North Market Street in the Brandywine Village became available for rent and the building owner approached Tucker about opening a business. The owner even offered her six months free rent as an incentive to get Market Street Pharmacy up and running.

Tucker contacted the Greater Brandywine Village Revitalization staff, who happened to be looking for an entrepreneur to open the first independent pharmacy in... Read More

One of the best compliments a client can give Appletree Answering Service’s owner and founder John Ratliff is that the consumer public does not know the company exists. Appletree, a telemessaging company using live agents who answer calls with a customized greeting, strives to tailor technology to meet the needs of individual clients, allowing Appletree to become a true client extension, not just an answering service.

Since its founding in 1995, the Wilmington-based company has grown to 300 employees and earned $7.5 million in revenue in 2006. Projections call for the company to hit $13 million in 2007. Appletree began as a one-man operation in Ratliff’s apartment and now operates in 12 locations. That growth has come about in part through a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and counseling from SCORE—Counselors to Americas Small Business—and the Small Business Development Center.

One of Appletree’s keys to success is its heavy... Read More