Success Stories

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Submitted by Jayne Armstrong | Director, Iowa District, U.S. Small Business Administration

This guest submission is the first of several that will be offered by Jayne Armstrong throughout 2018. Armstrong's goal with each submission is to highlight successful female business owners throughout Iowa, and the lessons they learned on their way to success.

Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Angela Jackson always dreamed of owning her own art gallery someday. Today she is a seasoned business owner paying it forward for other women to follow in her footsteps.

She opened a Great Frame Up franchise in West Des Moines’ West Glen Town Center over 12 years ago. Personal savings and a U.S. Small Business Administration loan through Wells Fargo Bank financed the startup costs, including the franchise fee, leasehold improvements and working capital. 

Jackson credits her extensive research on... Read More

Iowa Small Business Person of The Year 2017

Benny “Ben” Duane Puck, President

Puck Custom Enterprises

1110 100th Street

Manning, IA 51455

(712) 653-3045

In an effort to save the family farm, Ben Puck ventured into another business during the 80s Farm Crisis and today finds himself teaching the world how to handle manure in the 21st Century. With help from the SBA, his ability to expand is paying off not only for his family but for a rural Iowa community by providing needed, stable jobs.

Puck Custom Enterprises, Inc., of Manning, Iowa is a liquid manure application and application equipment manufacturing company owned and operated by Ben and Kathy Puck.

Raised on a family farm in rural Iowa, Ben intended to continue the tradition of family farming. In 1979, with the Farm Crisis looming and interest rates on farm loans at 18 percent, Ben knew he had to come up with a new revenue stream if he wanted to save his farm. His efforts included becoming... Read More

Tim Greene of Quality Machine of Iowa Named the SBA’s 2012 Iowa Small Business Person of the Year

(DES MOINES, Iowa) – In recognition of the small business community’s contributions to the American economy and society, the President of the United States designates one week each year as National Small Business Week. Scheduled for the week of May 20th of this year, Small Business Week 2012 will honor the more than 26 million small businesses in America. Since its establishment in 1963, the highlight of this annual tradition is the presentation of awards which focus on the outstanding contributions of small business persons and champions at the district, state and national levels. The U.S. Small Business Administration has named Tim Greene, of Quality Machine of Iowa in Audubon, Iowa as its 2012 Iowa Small Business Person of the Year.

Quality Machine of Iowa, Inc. grew out of a company started by Tim Greene’s father, Bill. He started Quality Machine, Inc. in 1968 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Tim worked at the company while growing up. The company survived through hard... Read More

Salute to Black History Month

Lu Spaine, an African-American business owner of the widely-known business, Zumi Collections LLC, in Des Moines, Iowa, turned her love of fabrics and vibrant colors into a shop at 42nd and University, which she fills with imported merchandise from around the world. Lu Spaine grew up in Des Moines. Her West Coast career in computers came to an end due to corporate downsizing so she started a business in Los Angeles. When her mother fell ill back home, she moved her business home, too. She sells women’s clothing, accessories, home decor and Fair Trade products from Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. Spaine was one of the 20 “ready for growth” small business owners chosen to participate in the 2011 SBA E-200 program through the Des Moines District SBA office. The program allowed her to take an in-depth, long term look at her business in order to navigate both temporary challenges and rapid growth.

... Read More