Success Stories

Gabriel Ruiz, AITC, Inc.

Orlando, FLA. - Gabriel Ruiz, LTC USA (Ret)., President and CEO of Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. (AITC), was recently awarded the 2017 North Florida Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Ruiz was also recognized as the 2016 North Florida District Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year. AITC is a Central Florida based firm, specializing in the assessment, design, and implementation of Information Technology solutions to the government sector (including federal, state and local). AITC is part of the SBA North Florida 8(a) Business Development portfolio and has been awarded over 15 contracts since 2013.  

The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses, designed to help them compete in the federal contracting arena. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged... Read More

Hanan Furqan

Jacksonville, FLA. – Hanan Hamed-Furqan, President/CEO of THREEZ Company, LLC. was recently named the 2017 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) North Florida District and State of Florida Minority-Owned Business Person of the Year. Hamed-Furqan started the business in 2011 and has since grown revenues by over 62%. She has also grown from 2 employees to 8 employees since 2012.

THREEZ Company, LLC is the first African-American owned and operated paper-supply company that offers its own brand of private-label residential and commercial products called “Blissful Paper Products.” The company also is an authorized distributor of over 5,000 janitorial, food service, paper, and safety supplies. Hamed-Furqan has grown the company to do business with the City of Jacksonville, Duval County Public Schools, and Jacksonville Aviation Authority by using competitive pricing models. She provides supplies for over 800 public buildings and 300 schools in the area.

Hamed-Furqan is a... Read More

Sheryl Page, President and CEO Page One Consultants

Orlando, FLA. – Sheryl Page, President and CEO of Page One Consultants, Inc. (POC) was recently named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2017 State of Florida Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year. Page has tripled revenues in 2 years and has also hired 30 additional team members in that time. The company has also acquired 13 new vehicles and nearly doubled the square footage.

Page, originally from upstate New York lived in various places growing up as result of her father’s job. She eventually settled in Florida and attended Miami-Dade Community College and then went to DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She majored in business with a minor in accounting, while working full-time for a commercial lender as a Treasury Service Officer. After graduation, Page relocated to the Orlando area and worked as an Office Manager for an engineering firm. It was during that time that Page realized she enjoyed engineering and construction and hope to become an... Read More

Photo of Heather Sams

Jacksonville, FLA- Heather Sams, Owner of HAS Art Solutions, LLC. (HASAS) has increased her revenue by 50%, has hired 7 new people, and has expanded her space as a result of her participation in ScaleUp North Florida, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and administered through the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida.

The ScaleUp America Initiative is designed to help small firms with high potential “scale up” and grow their businesses so that they will provide more jobs and have a greater economic impact, both locally and nationally. The SBA has structured this community-focused initiative with local entrepreneurial ecosystems in mind: a key emphasis of the program is building and strengthening entrepreneurial networks within a particular community, so that firms can grow by leveraging and complimenting the existing resources and expertise in their areas. Jacksonville, Florida is one of the handful of metropolitan areas... Read More

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