Success Stories

Douglas Worswick

Orlando, FL – Douglas Worswick, CEO of Certified Slings, Inc. (CSI), was recently selected as the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration Region IV Small Business Exporter of the Year. Worswick has increased revenue and grown his company by expanding his business globally. The company currently employs over 100 people, has 7 locations in Florida and sells its products throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Worswick joined his father’s company as a management trainee in 1992. He learned the business from the ground up, and implemented using more technology for inventory control and customer communications. The younger Worswick became Chief Executive Officer for CSI after his father passed away in 2006.

Although Worswick inherited a company that was reaching record sales, the recession of 2009 would force the company to reevaluate its business model. The company manufactures and sells slings, rigging, overhead lifting, load securement, safety and... Read More

Sandra Saft, President of Window Interiors

Orlando, FL – Sandra Saft, President of S. Saft and Company dba Window Interiors was recently selected as the 2015 North Florida District Small Business Person of the Year. Window Interiors not only provides shades and window coverings for projects across the country, but also manufactures solar shades out of its Altamonte Springs, Florida headquarters. Saft founded the company in 1989 with $10,000 in savings, and has steadily grown the company to a multi-million dollar business.

 

In the mid 1980’s Saft worked for a retail blinds fabricator in a sales capacity. While driving around Orlando, Florida, she noticed many new commercial buildings being built, and thought that this would be a good market to sell blinds to. When she approached her manager with the idea, he was not interested in pursuing it. Saft believed in the opportunity so strongly that she decided to ultimately quit her job, take a course on blueprints and construction to learn about the industry, and... Read More

Picture of John Steadham participating in ribbon-cutting

Pensacola, FL – John Steadham, President of Grand Coastal Builders, Inc. (GCB), operates a highly successful construction business that almost closed its door in 2009. Steadham, a member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, obtained 8(a) certification from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for his business in August of 2009. Steadham applied for the certification as the last effort to save his business from the devastating effects of several storms, a housing industry collapse, and a major oil-spill.

The 8(a) Business Development Program is an important resource for small businesses seeking business development assistance. Named for Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, this program was created to help small and disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace. It also helps these companies gain access to federal and private procurement markets. For more information on 8(a) certification, visit SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Website

Steadham grew up... Read More

Kristen Hadeed

Gainesville, FL --- Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid is not an average 20 something with lofty goals and entrepreneurial dreams. She founded her own cleaning company while still in college, and has quickly become part of the thriving economic scene in Gainesville, Florida. 

Hadeed is an Arabic-American woman in her mid-twenties who grew up in Flagler Beach, FL. She graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville in 2010 with a degree in finance. Hadeed started her cleaning business while she was a junior in college, and instead of accepting a job in her field upon graduation, she decided to continue building her business.

Student Maid was started in 2009 with the help of a craigslist ad, and a pair of $99 jeans. Hadeed stated, “I wanted a pair of expensive jeans in college, and my parents told me to get a job to pay for it. I put an ad on Craigslist to clean houses for $99 to accommodate my schedule and demanding course load.” The plan worked, and by... Read More

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