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Success Stories

Dr. Bennett Achigbu, owner of BMaKK, a successful SBA 8(a) firm in Omaha

Dr. Bennett Achigbu had a degree in veterinary medicine in his native Nigeria, and a national honor for his academic work.  He also had a unique experience with the World Bank’s agricultural outreach program trying to improve cattle ranching among his country’s nomadic tribes.

What he didn’t have was a roadmap to success in this country.

“This place, America, where you have all these opportunities, I didn’t know what I was getting into,” Achigbu said, “so you create your own path as you go.”

Creating that own path led to starting his own company, and with the help of the SBA’s 8(a) program, to become the model company for solid waste management on military bases across the nation.  Since 2004, BMaKK Corporation has added a wood products division, over-the-road trucking services, recycling, hazardous waste investigation and remediation, and real estate development, and has grown from $1 million a year in revenues to 50 employees and $10 million in work a year.... Read More

Doug Taylor, owner of Taylor-Made Wood Solutions

You know those people who say one day they’ll quit their corporate job, maybe travel the world on a pilgrimage and then come back to run their own small business? 

Go talk to Doug Taylor. He did that. 

These days, you’ll often find him on the shop floor, watching his company’s craftsmen turn out high-quality carpentry and millwork products.  Maybe you’ll catch him helping to unload a truck on a delivery of moldings and columns to a residential builder.

In the summer of 2014, his company, Taylor-Made Wood Solutions, took over two Ralston manufacturing businesses, Plywood, Inc. and Mycotec, from the longtime owner who started them years ago out of a garage and built them up to become fixtures in the Omaha area. 

Both firms today occupy a large warehouse just south of the suburb’s historic downtown. 

“We work with a variety of builders working on homes in the $200,000 to $300,000 range to builders all the way up to homes in a multimillion-dollar... Read More

Cassidy Pflanz of Pflanz Publications

Being the boss of an up-and-coming women's lifestyle magazine in Lincoln often means editing an article on plastic surgery, to closing an advertising deal with a local business, all while meeting demanding deadlines.  As editor-in-chief, Cassidy Pflanz had the perfect preparation to run her own publication.

For five years, the North Platte native worked for the Nicole Miller label in New York's Garment District, where she sometimes thrived, sometimes cried, but came out of that experience ready to be a business success back home, thanks to a little SBA help.

Pflanz’s publication, Women’s Edition, is a glossy free monthly publication offering content that’s upbeat on fashion, cultural trends, beauty tips, and personal finance guidance.  For small business owners looking for ways to stretch scarce ad dollars, the magazine also provides an affordable way to reach middle- to upper-income women, who often make and influence buying decisions. 

The magazine is part of... Read More

John and Angela Sievers, owners of Omaha's Green Beans Coffee

Before the first customers through the door took a sip from their cup of fresh espresso, before the workmen dodged the new commercial shelving not even out of its boxes as they drilled, painted and put in new plumbing, before the sign went up on the location off 168th and Harrison in Omaha, there was a soon-to-be retired veteran sitting in a classroom at Offutt Air Force Base wondering what he was going to do with his life.

That class was Boots to Business, a collaborative effort among SBA and resources such as SCORE and the Nebraska Business Development Center to introduce the basics of entrepreneurship to transitioning service members. And John Sievers, along with his wife, Angela, was about to start something about which he’d later say “I didn’t have a clue.”

B2B grad brings friend to veterans overseas home to Omaha

Green Beans Coffee is a friend to military men and women stationed at far-off bases eager for a taste of home, be that a cup of premium coffee or a... Read More