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Success Stories

SBA Resource Partner Helps Reclaimed Wood Artists Build Bigger Dreams


“Big dreamers” is how Anna and Nathanael Bailey describe themselves. The Baileys are wood artists and co-owners of Bailey Builds. Using SBA programs and services, the Entrepreneur Fund stepped in to keep their big dreams alive when traditional financing fell through during the early days of the pandemic.

Bailey Builds is located in a revitalized 1930s-era gas station nestled in the historic Spirit Valley neighborhood of West Duluth. The shop features handcrafted mosaics made by the Baileys, artwork from over 40 local artists, a gallery, and small venue event space, along with an Airbnb upstairs.

In early 2020, the Baileys recognized that they had outgrown their space and secured a rental workspace for an expanded woodworking shop. However, soon after they moved in, a major roof leak was discovered. That is when a former funeral home went up for sale just a couple blocks away... Read More


Clay Coyote is a gallery and pottery studio located in the heartland of Minnesota. In addition to a gallery space that showcases artists from across the country, it is also home to a small business incubator for emerging ceramic artists. Clay Coyote is best known for their flameware - a type of pottery that you can cook with on direct heat.

Owner Morgan Baum has been a loan client of the Southwest Initiative Foundation, an SBA microlender, since 2016. She shared that she gets so much from them more than a loan, including help from financial experts, filing taxes and more.

At the end of 2019, the business was thriving with seven employees. It had just completed a 100 day pop-up at Mall of America that was great for their business. Baum was also cooking with the pottery on WCCO TV to get new business and doing other things to drive up demand. Then, just as they finished up at the MOA and were catching their breath to get ready for the busy summer season... Read More

Minority-Owned Roofing Company Adds Competitive Edge with SBA Programs


Advanced Design Contracting is a construction company known for installing roofing systems in commercial construction, historical renovation, and executive buildings. It is a union shop that self-performs its contracts, which means its employees do all the work it bids on, not subcontracting it out to others - an important quality control that benefits its clients, including the federal government.

Owner Foster Hackett III started the company in 2008. A self-described, “construction worker by training” with limited college and business education, he reached out for assistance learning the business of his trade and has grown the company exponentially using multiple SBA programs and services.


Hackett initially attended the Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunities Council’s Procurement Fair, meeting with both buyers and economic development agencies,... Read More

Founded in 2000, EXB Solutions provides systems engineering and embedded software development services for safety and mission-critical projects in the aerospace, defense, and medical technology industries. Its team of over 100 professional engineers create software solutions that have helped fly successful space missions, enhanced patients’ lives through innovative medical devices, and advanced commercial flight systems for safer travel. 

When Veteran Chris Schwartzbauer started working for the company early in 2012, it was as a consultant assisting with marketing and strategic planning to increase sales.  Based on what they observed, the owners of the company soon offered Schwartzbauer the role of CEO to reinvigorate the company. After helping it grow at a compound annual growth rate of twenty-seven percent since he started, when the owners approached Schwartzbauer with the opportunity to fulfill his own vision for the company, he decided to dive in and buy... Read More