Only a couple of months away from receiving an engineering degree, Alexa Alfaro decided to go out on a limb and pitched a business idea to her family. She’d spent the better part of her life learning about her Filipino heritage with her father, and cooking was the main ingredient for her to do just that. That’s when she launched Meat on the Street, Milwaukee’s first Filipino food truck in 2014.
With a master’s degree in computer science, another master’s degree in information systems and an interdisciplinary PhD, Lisa Kaczmarczyk never planned on becoming an entrepreneur. After working in the tech industry as a developer, she transitioned into academia as a university faculty member teaching computer science where she also gained experience obtaining grants from the National Science Foundation. Lisa thought she would be doing this type of work forever.
While Leo Carr began his career in sales at Philip Morris, he “always had the bug to own my own business.” In 1999, he started his entrepreneurial journey and bought Express Personnel Services, a franchise staffing company. Leo had the opportunity to act on his passion, which was to fill a need by helping small businesses with their workforce needs while also helping people get jobs. This has given him unique insights into how small employers can meet the moment in addressing their staffing needs.
Sisters Lakila Bowden and Kamille Richardson are reframing disability and disproving myths that providing accommodations for differently abled employees is expensive and burdensome to businesses through their consulting company, iSee Technologies.
On September 26 and 27, Small Business Majority hosted an advocacy fly-in event, “Small Business Speaks: Two Days in Washington with Small Business Majority.” Nearly 30 entrepreneurs from the organization’s national and state Small Business Councils attended the event to build community and ensure that federal policymakers heard the true voice of small business.
In 2022, Small Business Majority, in partnership with Support Latino Business and Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, awarded critical funding to three Latina business owners through their annual #SupportSmallBiz grant program. The grant program bridges the gap in small business funding for Hispanic and Latino businesses, which often face challenges and systemic barriers in getting the capital and resources they need to start, grow and expand their enterprises.
On July 29, Small Business Majority co-hosted the Shop Inland Empire Pop-Up Market with the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce in San Bernardino, Calif. Pop-up markets are a unique and emerging venue for hopeful entrepreneurs to launch their small business dreams. As commercial rent costs continue to rise and workforce shortages pose challenges to small businesses, pop-up spaces and marketplaces offer a low-cost entry point for small business owners to test their products and market their business to community members.
Cristian Corona is the owner and founder of Little Sprouts Language Immersion Preschool, located in Los Angeles, Calif. After having her first child, she began working in the childcare industry and went back to school. This inspired her to open her first childcare center, which opened in 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Serving her local community came as a natural transition for JeJuan Stewart, CEO and Lead Consultant of EAGLE 7 Consulting in rural Georgia. She also leads the John and JeJuan Stewart, Jr. Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose vision is to create a group of focused, empowered youth who make a positive difference as individuals in their families and communities.
After a quarter life crisis, former social worker Alanna Ferre took a course in makeup artistry–as suggested by her mother–and was surprised to not only find a thriving second career, but also a passionate community in her home state of New Mexico.