Elena Ellingson-Cosenza's blog

Activism through entrepreneurship: An Idaho small business owner’s work for change

Caitlin Copple never thought she’d become a small business owner. 

“In college, I wasn’t a business major and didn’t take a single business class,” she said. “I was into activism and making the world a better place. But I’ve learned that if you start your own business, you have the freedom to do it differently than how it’s been done before even if there are not a ton of role models out there. One reason why I try to be visible as a queer single mom is because that was never an example of what a business owner could be.” 


Illinois entrepreneur advances agricultural equity

Evera Ivy never planned to take over the family business. In the early 1970s, her parents moved the family from Chicago to rural Pembroke Township, Ill. to start Ivy League Farms. Evera and her siblings initially didn’t want anything to do with the farm. However, another farmer in the area once told her that “Land is the one thing that cannot be produced or reproduced.” That wisdom stuck with her and opened her eyes to the value of her family’s land and business. 


Small Business Majority network members participate in roundtables with the White House National Economic Council

Over the past few months, Small Business Majority network members participated in roundtable discussions with the White House National Economic Council. Small business owners from across the country had the opportunity to voice their top concerns, share their experience with federal small business programs and suggest issues they would like the federal government to address. As small businesses continue to navigate an ever-complex economy these roundtables helped the Biden-Harris administration better understand the evolving needs of America’s entrepreneurs.


Small Business Majority hosts series with SBA Deputy Administrator Dilawar Syed

Over the past few months, Small Business Majority hosted a new small business engagement series with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Deputy Administrator Dilawar Syed, who is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the agency, alongside the staff in the office of the Administrator, and the Associate Administrators across the SBA’s core program offices. At each event, small business owners learned about a different pressing issue and had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in conversations about the SBA’s impact.


Small Business Majority network members participate in the White House’s Midwest Regional Small Business Summit

On May 31, Small Business Majority network members, alongside other small business owners and advocates attended the White House’s Midwest Regional Small Business Summit. The entrepreneurs met with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and other Biden-Harris administration officials to discuss the administration’s work to keep up America’s small business boom.


Colorado entrepreneur buys back the family business

Entrepreneurship runs in Dusti Budd’s family. Capitol Deli was originally owned by her step-dad, Steven Lloyd. Around 25 years ago, Dusti worked under him until he sold the business. Fifteen years later, Dusti was taking business classes at Colorado Mountain College, which required her to create a business plan. This later inspired her to buy Capitol Deli and open a location in Newcastle, Colo.


Texas entrepreneur creates connection for her community

When we last spoke with Jaja Chen in 2020, her business was adapting to survive the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She and her husband and co-owner Devin started Waco Cha as a pop-up in the Waco Downtown Farmers Market in 2018 and later obtained a food truck. In March 2020, they opened their first storefront in Waco. However, opening in the middle of the pandemic was difficult, especially as they couldn’t open for dine-in until late summer.


Meet our Outreach Team - Hunter Nelson

Small Business Majority’s Outreach Team supports entrepreneurs on two fronts: It advocates for policies that benefit small businesses and it offers webinars and in-person events that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. We have found this work to be even more important as small businesses experience rising inflation, supply chain disruptions and workforce challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic.

We are spotlighting Hunter Nelson, Small Business Majority’s new Colorado Director, to let small business owners know how our team members can assist them.


California immigrant small business owner’s journey from corporate life to entrepreneurship

As a first generation immigrant who grew up in a community and household of blue collar entrepreneurs, Lori Shao always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Her parents’ grit and perseverance always inspired her, especially because immigrants often face unique challenges with starting small businesses. Some immigrant entrepreneurs must navigate language barriers and cultural divides, along with difficulty accessing the capital needed to launch and grow a business.


Colorado entrepreneur in the business of giving back to the community

In 2018, Lauren Coleman started The Sursy with the vision to build a bespoke hospitality brand that owns, designs, and operates a portfolio of unique properties across the Southwest. She owns the White Swan Motel in Lakewood, Colorado (to become Loveland House Hotel) and Mellow Moon Lodge, Rodeo Mercantile, and the Moon Bar & Lounge in Del Norte, Colorado.