Success Stories

Robert Walker, Owner of Fronana

Many people have a “sweet tooth” and, when it comes to junk food, it can be hard to say no to the occasional indulgence. Luckily, with Robert Walker’s Fronana treat, customers don’t have to. Walker consulted with SBA resource partners SCORE and SBDC regarding his business idea and on National Ice Cream Day in July 2014, he launched his healthy snack line in Dayton, Ohio.

Walker had been looking for a way to satisfy his craving for sweets while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He created Fronana, a banana-based ice cream alternative. He went from making the treat for himself in a blender to scaling up production in 2015 at Columbus-based micro lender Economic Community Development Institute’s Food Fort, an industrial food prep area for entrepreneurs.

“I want to change how the world sees dessert,” Walker said. “What if you could eat ice cream for breakfast because it was good for you? My product tastes just as good as ice cream and it’s healthy for people.”

Walker... Read More

Zach Green, MN8 FoxFire

In 2010, Zachary Green created photoluminescent firefighting equipment to help him in his duties as a volunteer firefighter for the city of Wyoming, Ohio. He found that the steady glow from the equipment improved visibility in the dark, creating safer situations for emergency responders. Through the SBA exporting program, he was able to expand his business, delivering glow-in-the-dark safety equipment to 25 different countries.

“I tested the product at a local fire. Afterwards, the rest of the firefighters wanted to know who was glowing in the dark,” Green said. “When I showed them my helmet, they wanted to know where they could get one. Soon whole fire departments were ordering my product.”

The glow in his products is created by the element strontium and does not require electricity or an external battery. It is instead re-charged through exposure to light. As his product grew in popularity in the United States, Green met with the SBA in 2013 to talk about exporting... Read More

Jendell Duffner, owner of Green Scoop

On Earth Day in 2013, Jendell Duffner launched Green Scoop, the first business in the United States to turn pet waste into electricity and natural gas, with the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration and Columbus-based micro lender Economic Community Development Institute. By offering to clean people’s yards and providing a green way to dispose of pet waste, Duffner capitalized on an increasingly hot topic: clean energy.

“I’ve always been environmentally aware and tried to recycle and reuse items,” she said. “This business is a reflection of my passion and serves as a role model to other businesses to be smart with the Earth’s limited resources.”

After collecting pet waste through her bucket service and yard cleaning services, Duffner takes the waste to a third-party waste processing plant. There, the methane gas from the waste is turned into natural gas and electricity. The remaining solid matter is turned into a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Before... Read More

Sheri Chaney Jones, Owner of Measurement Resources

Sheri Chaney Jones wanted to help the social sector improve community services on issues ranging from hunger to reducing poverty. Through an SBA loan program and resource partners, she was able to realize this passion by creating her business, Measurement Resources, to evaluate and improve government and nonprofit programs.  

“The effectiveness of an initiative can’t be measure monetarily,” Jones said. “I measure the social outcome of an initiative to ensure government and nonprofit resources help as many people as possible.”

Jones uses her background as an industrial psychologist to help government and non-profit entities measure a social return on investment. To date, she has helped more than 75 government and non-profit entities analyze and adjust their programs.

Jones believes that the SBA was key in the creation and growth of her business. She met with a SCORE representative in 2008 when she was still deciding whether or not to pursue entrepreneurship. She... Read More

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