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Success Stories

photo of Lauren Purvis

Situation

Combining a life-long obsession with tea and a fateful visit to Kyoto, the cradle of Japan’s tea ceremony, Lauren Purvis partnered with a local matcha tea grower and founded the Mizuba Tea Company in 2013.  Purvis wanted to share the matcha tea experience with the rest of the world and knew that her Portland-based business would have challenges breaking into a market traditionally known for its coffee culture.  As a new small business owner, Purvis knew she could use some help to guide her through her new journey.

Solution

In 2015, Purvis participated in the SCORE Women’s CEO Roundtable where female business operators can leverage their collective wisdom and expertise to help one another attain sustainable business success.  Purvis also gained valuable insight and experiences from the SCORE mentors facilitating the roundtable.  The monthly meetings allowed for confidential discussion, feedback and advice from other CEOs and business owners.  Purvis... Read More

Image of worker at tortilla making machine

Situation

Miguel Diaz Sr. sold his three tortilla factories when he emigrated from Mexico to the United States with his family. In 1994, after 15 years of working in other industries, Diaz returned to tradition and started La Morenita Tortilleria, the same name as the ones he owned in Mexico.  Orders for La Morenita tortillas exploded in recent years and this family-owned business needed additional space to meet the growing demand for their products.

Solution

A local lender introduced the Diaz family to the SBA 7(a) Loan Program which helped  them secure financing for a new  warehouse and production facility as well as obtain refinancing of their current debt.  The 7(a) Loan Program is the most common SBA loan program providing financial help for businesses  needing a loan up to $5 million to fund startup costs, buy equipment and more.

Impact

La Morenita Tortilleria is on a steady growth trajectory with the purchase of a new warehouse/production... Read More

Photo of Mia and Rob Scofield

Situation

While attending an education conference, Mia Scofield – who was a high school teacher and counselor at the time – discovered a retail store that inspired her to design her own line of handbags. Mo & Co. Bags was a natural off-shoot of her husband’s established shoe company; however, Scofield found doing what you love doesn’t always translate into business success.

Solution

Scofield applied to the SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative, a six-month “mini-MBA” executive education course for businesses poised for growth. The initiative provided her with the organizational framework, resource network and motivation required to help her build a sustainable business. While Scofield loved the creative process of making handbags, the course helped her realize she needed to make decisions from a business point of view. This included a thorough understanding of her business’ balance sheet and financial statements.

Impact

Since completing the program... Read More

Photo of Brandon (son) and Steve (father) Vaughn cleaning windows

Situation

In 2011, Brandon Vaughn bought All-Clean Window Service from his father, Jim Vaughn, upon diagnosis of a serious health condition for Jim. Brandon knew he needed to grow the business so his father could retire after running the business for more than 30 years. Despite the company’s long track record, it had to act like a startup in many ways by updating the branding, offering additional services and developing new internal systems.

Solution

Brandon knew he needed help from people more experienced than him; and, who could coach him through all the transitions of growing a business. So he reached out to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon for assistance. Brandon met regularly with Mt. Hood SBDC Director Kedma Ough who was able to coach him to stay focused on the things that truly mattered and served as a sounding board for ideas that would take his business to the next level.

Impact

... Read More

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