Success Stories

The U.S. Small Business Administration South Florida District’s Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne is an integral business resource for inspiring women entrepreneurs and helping women-owned small businesses grow and create jobs.   Just ask Jeanne Whitman, owner of Melbourne’s “Achieve Beautiful Skin”. 


Whitman, who opened “Achieve Beautiful Skin” just a few years ago, is one of many south Florida, woman-owned businesses who credit greater success through programs offered at WBC.  Her success is why this year’s theme for Women History Month, “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment,” is representative of women-owned small business success in south Florida. 


“I always had a dream of opening my own beauty spa,” said Jeanne.  “My sister Carol was a beauty queen and I was a cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins cheerleader for three years.  I wanted to help other women develop and keep a positive... Read More

Growing up in the small town of Danville, Va. as a first generation American son of a Cuban father and Colombian mother, Richard Estevez was self-conscious of his identity and culture.  Though the city population was nearly equally balanced between whites and blacks, being Hispanic set Estevez apart from the rest of the kids in school.

He didn’t like being different.

“Initially, I did not associate myself with the Hispanic culture and I did not want to speak Spanish,” Estevez said recalling his elementary school days.  “However, that changed when I was about 10 years old.”

When he was old enough, Estevez’ father sent him to work in the region’s farms with other migrant workers, most of whom were from Mexico.  But Estevez wasn’t sent to help harvest crops. 

“My father was an educated man and he took me to the fields to serve as an interpreter between the migrant workers and doctors.  I helped the workers explain to the doctors what was bothering them by... Read More

College graduates unable to find that first job after can take a few lessons from Tracy Stroderd who’d share the same tip her husband gave her years ago:  “Put a filing cabinet in the corner and go sell something!”


Stroderd’s women-owned, online business was her fifth small business she created and the most successful. 


“I refer to my website ‘’ as ‘the yellow pages on steroids,’” said Stroderd.  “Traditional advertising has its limitations and there was no one inclusive source for Brevard County information so that’s how I started this business.”


Tracy’s entrepreneurial pedigree may sound familiar to other small business owners but it’s one that is worth repeating for anyone thinking of starting their own business. Stroderd worked a full time job as a property manager and began her first small business; a dining, arts and entertainment newspaper, at home in her spare time.  She went on to... Read More

Aircraft Parts Business Flying High with Export Financing from SBA

Before the boom of e-commerce sites such as eBay and Amazon in the late 1990s, Jeffery Zaslow and Jeffery Cabel were already harnessing the internet to grow their business, Overseas Aircraft Parts.

Today, Zaslow and Cabel are again pioneering business growth in the rediscovered frontier of international exports.  But instead of relying on emerging technology to reach new customers, the Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based businessmen credit the availability of capital through SBAs Export Working Capital Program as a key driver in their success. 

Overseas Aircraft Parts opened its doors 22 years ago.  Zaslow and Cabel previously worked together at a south Florida aviation company. 

“I was the company CPA and Jeff was familiar with aircraft engines. When we started the company, Jeff’s knowledge of aviation and my finance background seemed to be a combination that would work” recalled Zaslow.  “For me, the most rewarding part of opening our own business was not having to... Read More