When Chris Petrella found himself in the dark, he had a bright idea.
While camping with his son in 2012 he realized he didn’t have a way to power his electronics. After that trip, Petrella went to a camping supplies store and inquired about such a device.
“I sketched it out for him [the store clerk]” and he told me it didn’t exist. I did a Google search, and it wasn’t found,” Petrella said. “I thought to myself this is so bizarre because I can picture this thing clearly in my mind.”
It’s difficult for most small businesses to obtain a loan. Just ask Margo Strotter, owner of Ain’t She Sweet Cafe, which now has two locations–one in Bronzeville and one in Beverly.
When Margo was starting out she was her own bank, but she knew that wasn’t a long-term solution to her capital needs so she eventually sought help from traditional lenders. Unfortunately, those institutions were either unwilling or unable to help Margo.
Entrepreneurs are a vital component of a thriving American economy. Indeed, small businesses represent 99% of all employer firms and account for half of our nation’s jobs and economic output, and their creativity spurs innovation in all sectors of the economy. That’s why it’s important to take time to appreciate our country’s entrepreneurs during November, which is National Entrepreneurship Month.
In today’s political climate, a lot of political leaders talk about wanting to help small business, but oftentimes don’t take their actual comments and concerns into consideration when working on key policy issues, like tax reform and healthcare. That’s why we tackled this challenge head on at Small Business Majority’s 2017 Policy Forum, which brought 50 small business leaders from around the country to our nation’s capital to discuss how to promote policy reforms that will help small businesses thrive.
Open enrollment to purchase health insurance plans for 2018 through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual marketplaces has started and there are some important changes for small business owners to note this year. If you’re a self-employed entrepreneur or have employees who need coverage through Healthcare.gov, check out these key facts about this year’s open enrollment below.
Tracy duCharme does not fit the traditional profile an entrepreneur. Tracy’s background is in the arts, and her experience with illustration and graphic design inspired her to open a branch of Color Me Mine, the world's leading paint-it-yourself ceramics franchise studio chain, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
After finding little success with traditional medical treatments for her struggle with ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the colon, Michelle Retik of Short Hills, New Jersey, discovered that adjusting her nutrition was the key to a happier and healthier life. However, Michelle had trouble finding snack foods that accommodated her dietary restrictions. As a professional pastry chef, Michelle took it upon herself to fill this void, and her passion project quickly became a successful business venture.
Starting a business and starting a family at the same time is no easy feat. Just ask Chanceé Lundy, a new mom who is also co-owner of Nspiregreen LLC in Washington, D.C.
“The cost of child care can be incredibly burdensome for small businesses, especially in large cities,” Chanceé said. “Since I had a child, I’ve had to be very disciplined in juggling my time–particularly because child care facilities where I live are very expensive and typically have a waiting list of one year or more. This can be crippling to a new business owner who did not foresee these issues.”
Alfredo Zendejas co-owns Accesorios Zendejas along with his wife, Leticia Sanchez, in Los Angeles, California. A true mom-and-pop enterprise, Alfredo and Leticia work together to design, create and deliver custom decorative pieces for quinceñeras, baptisms, weddings and other special occasions.
To say that Columbus entrepreneur Victoria Calderon wears many hats is an understatement. In addition to co-owning two successful businesses with her sister, Virginia Nunes Gutierrez, Victoria is a marketing expert, policy advocate and published author with more than 10 years of experience in the media, corporate, non-profit and small business sectors. Victoria is also a first-generation immigrant from Venezuela who is fluent in Spanish, English and Brazilian Portuguese.