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Success Stories

Chef Sonya Jones always dreamed of running her own business. Growing up, she worked in her family’s neighborhood cafe, which fueled her desire to become an entrepreneur. She wanted to run her own restaurant, so she attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York City.

Today, Chef Sonya is the owner of Sweet Auburn Bread Company, which is one of the most well-known Southern bakeries in Atlanta. Her customers have even included former President Bill Clinton and Food Network Star Rachael Ray.

Chef Sonya first heard about the U.S. Small Business Administration while conducting research on how to start her business. During the initial planning stage of Sweet Auburn Bread Company, she sought assistance from a SCORE Mentors office in Atlanta who helped her with the counseling she need to launch her bakery in 1997. Over the years of running her business, she continued to reach out the SBA Georgia District Office and other resource partners for assistance.

In... Read More

After Scottie Johnson retired from the U.S. Army after 26 years of service in field artillery, he wanted to do something completely different. Because he loved cooking, he graduated from Culinary Arts School so he and his wife could start their own private chef service. Today, he’s an award-winning chef, author and owner of Blessed and Highly Favored Cuisine LLC. The company brings gourmet dinners to the comfort of their client’s home or business in Kathleen, Georgia.

Scottie first learned about the SBA through his wife Lowanda and a friend who was very familiar with SBA programs and services. He was able to align himself with other veteran entrepreneurs through the Boots to Business class, an entrepreneurial education and training program for transitioning service members and their spouses. The program is offered through SBA’s resource partner the Georgia Veterans Business Outreach Center.

Scottie said Boots to Business helped him learn about how available resources... Read More

At the age of five, Byron Davis told his mother he wanted to be a businessman.  While he is uncertain as to what the driving force was behind this desire at such a such age, he knew he wanted to make a positive impact in his community by employing others, giving time, and providing resources to causes that inspire him.

Byron is the co-founder and owner of NetSoft Inc., a provider of software services to the anatomic pathology laboratory community. IntelliPath is NetSoft's flagship software product, which can be found in local, regional, national, and in-house laboratories as well as community and university teaching hospitals and medical centers.

Prior to becoming incorporated in 1998, NetSoft, Inc. was a small start-up created in the basement. During this “Y2K” era, there was uncertainty given the nature of the computer systems business at that time. Nevertheless, the company was able to develop and launch its core software product, IntelliPath, by 2000. Today, the... Read More

When Elena Carne was growing up in a Venezuelan beach town, girls her age wanted to sport new bathing suits every weekend. Her parents couldn’t afford to buy that many garments, so she decided to make them herself. Soon she received requests from friends and others who loved her bathing suit designs and Elena discovered her passion for entrepreneurship. By the age of 21, she had an established business but the political climate of her country made her leave home and also put her business on hold. It would be 12 more years before she returned to her passion for design.

Today, she’s the owner of T31 Inspired Handcraft Activewear, a small, minority and woman-owned manufacturer based in Americus, Ga. Her brand provides handcrafted leggings, tank tops and other ladies sportswear. “My South American culture is key to our creative process, but our southern roots embrace the more practical side,” she said. “We want to motivate ladies to live an active, positive... Read More