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Success Stories

IT Firm Builds Business and Community with SBA Contracting Program

It’s not common for two Native American tribes to get together to create a business, but that’s just what the Craig Tribal Association and the Organized Village of Kasaan tribes of Southeast Alaska did. In 2001, the two tribes formed the Prince of Wales Tribal Enterprise Consortium (POWTEC) with the mission to build and sustain a strong and profitable business to contribute to the progress and well-being of the tribal communities. POWTEC Solutions, LLC was founded in 2010 to provide onsite IT support for federal agencies, state and local governments and tribal entities. In the beginning, they found it difficult to win government contracts. They successfully won a few commercial contracts, but it was all thanks to previous relationships. The government contracting field is competitive and POWTEC Solutions needed a way to differentiate their business.


In 2013, POWTEC Solutions was... Read More

Entrepreneurial Moms Grow Bag Lunch Business into a Full Service Catering Company

Shortly after the birth of her son, Heather Chitty found herself looking for a change from the nine-to-five corporate job and commute, with the goal of spending more time with her family. Her friends Kristen Cole and Marci West were looking to make a career change as well. With Chitty’s management background and Cole and West’s culinary expertise, the three self-described “entrepreneurial moms” formed Madres Kitchen in 2005 as a bagged lunch business. The Seattle-based business steadily grew over the next 12 years and transformed from bagged lunch sales into full service catering. By 2017 they had 13 full time employees, 40 part time employees and were doing $1 million in annual revenue. Despite the steady growth and longevity, Chitty says she was “wearing 900 hats and doing everything in the business.”  Madres Kitchen couldn’t define their ideal client. They hadn’t defined their core... Read More

Lumpia and Microloans: A Rural Small Business Success 

Cristy McFall was born into a big family in a small village in the Philippines. As one of six children, and the only daughter, she was no stranger to hard work growing up. When she immigrated to the U.S. and started a family with Jim McFall on Camano Island, Washington, she found herself looking for a way to earn extra money to support her children’s future college education plans. In 2013 Cristy McFall began selling frozen lumpia — a traditional Filipino food very similar to an eggroll—through the Facebook market app with the technical help of her social media-savvy-son. The lumpia was a huge hit. Eventually she expanded her offerings to full-service catering while continuing to sell batches of frozen lumpia. After a few years of working out of their home and through rented commercial kitchen space, the McFalls made the decision to “go all in” to the business and used Jim McFall’s 401K retirement account to... Read More

SBA Award Winner Grows Successful Mobile Storage Business From a Senior Project

Ross Black needed a business idea for his senior project in high school; so he utilized some extra space his parents had to make a mini-storage business. After finding success in it, he decided to expand by purchasing shipping containers to use as storage space. It wasn’t until a client asked if he could drop the container off at her house to put some bigger items in prior to taking it to his property that he found a potential in mobile storage. Fifteen years, two locations, and nine employees later, Ross and his father (and co-owner) Dave Black had created a successful mobile storage business headquartered in Lynden, Washington. Ross wanted to grow the business smart and knew he needed some help to make that happen.

In 2013, Ross enrolled in the SBA Emerging Leaders course, which provides free entrepreneurship education and training for executives of small, poised-for-growth... Read More