Success Stories


Army veteran Haleema Shafeek noticed a business opportunity when she visited her local Veteran Affairs medical facility. With a background in interior design and furniture, she knew she could make the space more sustainable and welcoming to other veterans.   


After a year of preparation and learning how to operate in the government market, Haleema started her small business, Green Office Furniture Solutions, in 2008. She was awarded her first contract within two months.

SBA Resources:

Before she opened her small business, Haleema worked with the local U.S. Small Business Administration office and Procurement Technical Assistance Center for resources, free classes and to get certified as a woman-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small business.


“I think it’s important to learn how to own and operate a business before you start one,” Haleema said. “I took lunch breaks to attend small business classes and attended every networking event... Read More


Beau Scott grew up loving trucks. His father, Steven Scott, started a semi-truck transport business in 1985 based in Ashville, Ohio. As soon as Beau turned 21, he earned a commercial driver’s license and began driving for his father.


The business grew into three entities, MCS Transport Inc., Arrow Transport Inc., and Walnut Creek Transport, Inc., with 30 semi-trucks total. Beau stepped into a management role, taking over business operations in 2013.

SBA Resources:

In 2018, Beau bought the business from his father, working with CF Bank to obtain an SBA-guaranteed loan.


“There was a lot of paperwork in obtaining the loan,” Beau said. “But it was worth it, because we had limited collateral and SBA’s guaranteed loan program helped us overcome those obstacles.”


The business employs 30 people and is able to provide healthcare coverage to all employees.


“Being able to provide benefits is very important, especially as the... Read More


The idea for Cincinnati-based barbecue business Sweets and Meats began in Kristen Bailey’s backyard. She and her partner Anton would host cookouts, serving family recipes to their friends. As word spread about their food and many people began to encourage Kristen and Anton to open a restaurant.   

In 2014, the two leaped into entrepreneurship, starting their business with a smoker, $500 in capital and a volunteer work force. For the first 18 months, the business did not have a payroll.

SBA Resources:

In 2015, Kristen enrolled into MORTAR, an SBA-sponsored business accelerator and began working closely with SBDC counselor Larry Brown, who helped her develop a business plan and connect with lenders.

“MORTAR was the first place that I felt that my dream was supported,” Kristen said. “I was able to find a lot of resources through their program, including SCORE mentor Mike advice to entrepreneurs is to start with what you have... Read More


When Mary Watson’s son deployed in support of the First Gulf War in December 1980, she had trouble finding an American flag to display. At a time when American flags were only sold in the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day at hardware stores, she convinced a local flag manufacturer to provide her with a bulk order of flags.


She began selling the surplus flags out of the trunk of her car, and was dubbed “The Flag Lady” by the local press for her patriotic spirit. In 1984, she moved operations to a brick and mortar store in Columbus, Ohio.


For 25 years, she and her daughter, Lori Watson, worked side by side on the business. In 2017, Lori took over the business, wanting to continue her mother’s legacy.


In 2017, Lori participated in and graduated from SBA’ Emerging Leader’s program, an executive-level training program that helps small businesses with high growth potential through mentorship, workshops and networking... Read More