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Success Stories

Ron Laverdure, Director, Federal Contracts and Ray Bundschuh, Lead Planner

MEC Development, LLC (MDL) is a Native American tribally-owned, small and disadvantaged business that graduated from the SBA 8(a) Business Development program in August, 2017. In its nine years in the 8(a) Business Development Program, MDL has enjoyed expansion, spread its corporate footprint across the United States and abroad, and created a valuable network of federal and commercial contacts.

MDL entered the 8(a) Business Development Program in 2008 with three 8(a) contracts it had inherited from its parent company, Mandaree Enterprise Corporation (MEC). The sheer diversity of these contracts – annuity information processing and fulfilment for the Social Security Administration, asset management and warehousing for the Environmental Protection Agency, and sustaining engineering support for the U.S. Air Force’s C-5 Aircraft Corrosion Prevention and Control Program – established MDL’s approach to federal contracting going forward. Specifically: MDL maintained an unwavering... Read More

James Owen and Jeff Enzminger, Double J Manufacturing

Fifteen years after starting their business, Jeff Enzminger and James Owen see continued success with their manufacturing operation. Jeff and James started Double J Manufacturing and Repair Inc. in 2002 in rural Stutsman County, naming it after both partners. Together they have capitalized on an opportunity to meet the need for custom built corrals and panels.

In the spring of 2013, the demand for their products had grown. They were looking for funding to expand, including the purchase of land and construction of a shop. Their banker referred them to the North Dakota Small Business Development Center-Jamestown Center (NDSBDC).  The NDSBDC advisor provided assistance with preparing a business plan, creating financial projections, identifying sources of capital, and loan packaging.

The NDSBDC assistance helped them obtain the financing they needed to expand. Today Double J manufactures 13 products with a focus on freestanding corrals and windbreak panels. Other products... Read More

Lorie Pope, Nexus Innovations

In 2000, Lorie Pope opened the first office of Nexus Innovations in Bismarck, North Dakota. She and co-founder, Bob Pope, had a dream of creating a high level strategic consulting company that provided leadership and delivered success.

Lorie first learned of the services at Center for Technology & Business (CTB) through an introduction to their founder, Tara Holt. She says "Looking back, I had no idea of the significance that CTB would play in my life."

CTB is the SBA's Women's Business Center (WBC) for North Dakota. WBCs seek to 'level the playing field' for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world.

Lorie registered for a class through CTB and says it was exactly what she needed, "From that class, I didn't just gain confidence to use a computer, but valued making contact with other women in business."

Soon after the class, Lorie began the process of becoming a North Dakota Certified Woman Owned Business through CTB... Read More

Kelley Dockter, owner of Blink Eyewear, Bismarck, ND

Not long ago Kelley walked in to her job selling glasses at an optometrist office only to have the doctors she worked with tell her they didn’t think she was happy. Thinking back she remembers “it was definitely a bad experience getting fired – I loved my job!  I was 47 years old and I thought: what am I going to do?”

Kelley loved selling glasses and kept coming back to the idea of opening her own optical shop. “And before I knew it,” she says, “things started falling into place.” A friend referred her to SCORE because as she claims, “I know a lot about glasses, but I didn’t know anything about the business side!”

The biggest hurdle for Kelley was putting together a business plan. She researched different formats and advice online, only to end up more overwhelmed and stressed. She had the passion and vision for the business, but continually got stuck trying to put together projections and numbers.

Learn how SCORE Mentors help Kelley with her business plan and... Read More