COVID-19 relief options and additional resources

Success Stories

Compassion & Technology- A Winning Combination


Dr. Faheem Inayatali began to shape his ideas of owning a private practice while pursuing his doctorate degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry.  During medical training and rotations, he began to explore different niches as well as develop the designs and philosophies he uses in his practice today. 

With the help of Wallis Bank and a SBA 7(a) loan, Dr. Faheem was able to turn his vision into a reality by utilizing loan funds to purchase medical equipment and build-out a 5,000 square foot facility to open the Eye Center of Houston in July 2015.  Although the business is located on a major bus stop and only minutes from Memorial Hermann Hospital, the largest non-profit healthcare system in Texas, Dr. Faheem would face challenges that came with operating a practice in a low-income area.  Dr. Faheem states, “there were a lot of interesting challenges I didn’t see coming into this, it is very... Read More

Nancy Almodovar


Nan and Company Properties-Christie's International Real Estate

Houston, TX


Nancy Almodovar started her luxury real estate business, “Nan and Company Properties Christie's International Real Estate", from her home while attending the University of Houston. By herself, she grew the firm to $4 million dollars in revenue. Six years later, Nan and Company Properties-Christie's International Real Estate has a worldwide network of 138 affiliates across 940 offices in 48 countries, 57 realtors, and 12 full-time employees.


What challenge did you have?

Entering an older, male-dominated industry, the factor that was even more impactful than me being a woman and a Latina, was my age. I had to establish that my company could compete against firms that had been around for decades and directed by older men. I had to show that actions spoke louder than words by focusing on the end goal, staying patient, and muting... Read More

Sidney Lacey, LNC principal/director

Networking and collaboration are instrumental to success in the growth and development of every small business. This is the experience of a well-established firm such as Lacey Newday Consulting, LLC (LNC) located in Houston, Texas. And with assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program, Sidney Lacey, LNC principal/director, has expanded his services leading to growth since the firm opened over 10 years ago.

“When I started LNC, I knew that I wanted it to be a place where passion, performance and integrity were paramount.  A firm where the clients were asking, ‘why are you guys trying to leave, we need help on something else.’ When I worked for someone else, that’s how we ran our practice and not only did it satisfy the customer, but it made work fun!” said Sidney.

Diversification is also attributed to LNC’s success over the years. The firm assists clients with project management, process improvement, internal controls analysis, staff... Read More

Axistrade, Inc. Staff

Axistrade, Inc. located in Houston, Texas is an export sourcing service to industries both domestic and overseas in need of material procurement and logistical support for maintenance, repair and operations.  The company formed in 2001 and has grown to more than 30 employees in 15 years. “It was a one man show for the first four years, and I wore every hat from Warehouse Manager to Owner,” said Sadik Dalal, President and Owner. Working long hours and doing a lot of research in growing a small business, Sadik was able to secure financial assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) which broadened opportunities and increased domestic and international sales.


Sadik is a graduate of Baylor University with BS and MBA degrees, and following graduation he has gained a great deal of technical experience from the corporate and financial industries. After he lost his job due to layoffs at one of the large energy... Read More