Success Stories

Mark Hawley started Metal-tech 4x4 in 2000 with just $300 making roll cages for popular off-road vehicles in his garage. After 13 years building his brand, Hawley was ready to take his manufacturing business to the next level. His sales had steadily increased but his profitability remained flat. Hawley knew in order to get where he wanted to be, he had to approach his business from a different perspective.

This new perspective came with the help of the SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative, a six-month “mini-MBA” executive education course for businesses poised for growth. The initiative provided Hawley with the organizational framework, resource network and motivation required to help the business grow in a sustainable way. The course helped him to re-examine how he approached staffing, professional development and key performance indicators for his business.

The business that started in a garage in 2000 is now fabricating high-quality off-road components in its Newberg,... Read More


Coming from a family with a long tradition in contracting, Mike Nieto learned at an early age that being a contractor meant that you had to be tough, smart and hold a stiff upper lip.  After many years working in the construction industry with this philosophy, Nieto saw the detrimental effects of high employee turnover and asked himself, “What if we focused on building people first and projects second?” In 2005, he answered this question by creating Catworks Construction, a construction company unlike any he had experienced before.


After several years of taking on private sector work, Nieto wanted to take his company to the next level and pursue working with the world’s largest customer, the U.S. government.  He realized he needed help in gaining a foothold in government contracting and discovered the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program through a fellow contractor.  The SBA 8(a) Program is a nine-year program offering a broad scope of... Read More

Expanding your Business


After years of working in retail and establishing a national women’s fashion brand store in Portland, Oregon; Dawn Stanchfield decided it was time to work for herself and established Lily Atelier fashion boutique in 2003. In 2007, Stanchfield was presented with a rare opportunity to lease an adjacent property giving her the needed space for her growing business. The new space required more than $60,000 in renovations and Stanchfield knew she needed to find the capital to make her vision come to life.


Help came in the form of an SBA-guaranteed loan when a local lender introduced Stanchfield to the SBA 7(a) Loan Program which helped her secure financing for the needed renovations to her new commercial space. 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.


Lily Atelier’s expansion came in the... Read More

photo of Lauren Purvis


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.


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