2017 SBA WV Young Entrepreneur of the Year Utilizes SBDC Counseling to Craft Business Plan

Karen Friel, Dakota Janowitz, Lindsey Teets

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2017 West Virginia Young Entrepreneur, Dakota Janowitz, started DJ’s Firewood, a full service landscape, maintenance, mowing and bobcat business, when he was still in high school. With the help of SBA’s resource partner, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, Janowitz was able to secure a loan with the Farm Credit Bureau for equipment to take his small business to the next level.


While Janowitz’s peers were busy with sports and typical high school functions he was busy working in, and on, his business. The day he turned sixteen he got his driver’s license and shortly after started selling firewood and mowing yards. “I always wanted to own my own business,” stated Janowitz.

Entrepreneurship runs through his veins and he has the mentality of “Why get a paycheck from someone when you can earn it for yourself?” At the age of 17 he sold 100 cords of wood and at the age 19 he sold over 200 cords. This brought him to a crossroads: in order to expand he needed to secure a loan and enhance his equipment. 


The Farm Credit Bureau wanted to help Janowitz, but they needed a solid business plan in order to complete the loan. That is when Janowitz connected with Lindsey Teets, Business Coach with the SBDC. The two worked together to create a business plan for DJ’s Firewood that included financial projections on the increased output the new equipment would provide.


With the help from Teets, Janowitz was able to purchase the firewood processor and by January 2017 he had already sold nearly 400 cords of wood. DJ’s Firewood, now in business for five years, has doubled operations every year for the past three years and is on track to triple output this year. Janowitz has now grown the business from a one person operation to being able to contract three part-time employees.