Success Stories

Keith Harding, RYAN Consulting Group

For Keith Harding, being an entrepreneur wasn’t his initial calling in life, but it became his reality after a car accident during high school left him a paraplegic. He applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the Social Security Administration and realized that it wasn’t an income on which he could survive.

 

“I got my first check from SSI and it was $461. I knew I couldn’t sustain on that,” Harding says.

 

Almost 30 years later, Harding owns a multi-million dollar tech company with close to 100 employees. His yearly net profit is well over 1,000 times as much as that first SSI check. This is part of the reason Harding was honored as the SBA Indiana District Office 8(a) Graduate of the Year in 2016.

 

After his accident and that first paltry SSI check, Harding decided he wasn’t going to sit on his laurels and be content with life. Harding enrolled in a local training program and learned Common Business Oriented Language (... Read More

Sarah Fisher and husband Andy OGara during an IndyCar race

Sarah Fisher is no stranger to racing.  In fact, she had her first experience behind the wheel when her parents fitted her for a quarter midget race car when she was five years old.  Sarah spent her youth racing quarter midgets and karts until she got a call to race in the IndyCar series.  She was 19 at the time, and her completion of the Indianapolis 500 made her the youngest female racer to ever complete the prestigious race. 

Fast forward a decade and a half.  Not only did Sarah continue to race Indy cars, shatter records, and win multiple awards, she also met her husband Andy OGara at the track, became the first female IndyCar team owner, started a family, and now, has opened her own business allowing her and Andy to go back to their roots in racing.

"We both started in go-karts," Sarah says, "and were lucky to get to the level we achieved with Indy.  We share racing, and want to continue to share it as a couple and as a family."

"We always joked and... Read More

Rosemily Geyer

INDIANAPOLIS, IN ----- Rosemily Geyer for many years was a highly successful Certified Public Accountant in a top global accounting firm. But by asking one question, Rosemily found herself at a turning point in her life – she had the chance to live her dream and become a small business owner.

In 2011 the Fire Protection Company Rosemily’s brother-in-law worked for was closing. At the time, the company had several contracts with companies such as Crane and Toyota that would be lost or placed out for rebid. Instead Rosemily approached her brother-in-law and asked, “So what do you think about going into business together?” When she received the reply, “absolutely,” Rosemily saw her opportunity. In short order she began to research, trying as fast as she could to learn everything about small business ownership, fire protection, contracting and all the nuances that go into it. She continued to work her full-time job at the accounting firm for three years until ultimately, with... Read More

Advantage One Image Center

In 1979, Tim Cooney realized his dream of entrepreneurship when he opened a store in Columbus, Indiana specializing in retail sales of cameras and dark room equipment. Thanks to a $36,000 SBA-guaranteed loan from Columbus Bank and Trust, Cooney opened T&M Camera. Thirty-six years and two new business plans and name changes later, Cooney shares his knowledge of modifying your business to stay relevant. 

In the early 80’s, the local camera stores were the places to go if you were in the market for a new camera. The cameras were not user-friendly like we are all used to today. The local salesman not only sold you the camera, but he was your instructor. Tim spent a good majority of his day teaching customers on how to take and develop photographs. That all changed in 1987. Pentax was the first manufacture to introduce computing chips into the personal camera making them more user-friendly. Also, big box stores, like Service Merchandise began offering cameras at a better... Read More

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