Experience Fuels Woman Entrepreneur to Start Business

SBA Programs and Services Prove Positive Impact for Sport Nation

BUFFALO, NY – Child athlete, Division 1 soccer player and former coach, Kristen Wood has plenty of experience in sports development, engagement and all around tournament  and management experience. 

In 2009, she used these experiences to start her own small business.

Kristen Wood started her company Sport Nation to help sports team tournament directors and managers prepare for and manage their athletic events.  Specializing in event management, Sport Nation offers registration, housing, ticket sales and education.

“As a female entrepreneur, I have learned that your customers need to be passionate about you and your services,” said Kristen.  “I knew with all my experiences, I could find that powerful message and create real relationships.”

So much so, Kristen earned the contract to manage the International Ice Hockey Federation U20 World Juniors last year and she also maintains contracts with New Era Cap, IIHF and several Special Olympic Games and local sports tournament organizations.

Kristen did everything right as a small business start-up, from capitalizing on her experience to finding the perfect location.  Still, she needed to find the right lending solution to help her business grow.   She found that solution at Evans Bank.  Kristen received her SBA guaranteed loan in 2017 and since then, has converted her loan to a rainy day line of credit.

“I wanted to expand on the variety of my services,” she said.  “I saw how I could boost my sales and increase my customer base.”

Becoming focused on building her strategy for growth and achieving her goals, Kristen also reached out to SBA’s Women’s Business Center (WBC) Elevate Advisory Group. 

“The WBC EAG was extremely helpful and supportive of my business,” said Kristen.  “I learned best practices and was able to form a network of referrals and resources.” 

WBC Executive Director, Sara Vescio, commends Kristen for her dedication to growing her business and commitment to the Elevate program stating; “Kristen was committed to our year-long, confidential peer advisory group, utilizing the classes to her fullest capacity. She was engaged, ready to learn and implemented what she learned along the way, which gave her great results.”

Sport Nation, located in Tonawanda, New York may be small, but it’s packed with a wide variety of services. In fact; Kristen’s work goes beyond just what a client needs, she is currently expanding and growing her business!

“We are currently installing a new beta testing software program that will assist clients in human resource management.”  The program will allow us to train and offer temporary staff to our clients.  The volunteer portal will allow clients to match trained and experienced staff to work at tournament events.

Kristen advises other business owners, “Understand perseverance and don’t give up too early.” “Make sure you seek out the programs and services offered by the SBA and SBA resource partners.”

The SBA provides small business counseling and training through a variety of programs and resource partners. For more information, please contact your local SBA Buffalo district office at (716) 551-4301 or visit us online at sba.gov/ny/buffalo.


Company Name: 
Sport Nation
Tonawanda, NY
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