For the second year in a row, Dell hosted the Small but Mighty contest in partnership with Inc. and Fast Company to honor small businesses around Small Business Saturday. Started out of Michael Dell’s dorm room, Dell has never forgotten its small business roots and is committed to aiding the success of the small business sector.
Therefore, we asked small businesses to tell us what makes their business mighty — how they turned challenges into opportunities and the role technology played along the way. Winners are awarded a suite of Dell PCs and McAfee security solutions. It is amazing how many small businesses are out there, and this was such a fun and powerful way to showcase the unique creativity, perseverance and drive behind them all.
This year, we received several heartwarming and impressive entries from small businesses around the country. The stories highlighted how they reached where they are today and the addition of technology to support that growth. After reviewing numerous submissions, we’re excited to announce the incredible winners of this year’s contest!
Here’s a look at this year’s Small but Mighty winners:
Melissa Scott, CEO of MODEFYwear
Melissa is the CEO of MODEFYwear, she is also a deaf woman. Melissa started her business when she was on a work assignment for the Olympic Games in the Middle East. To adhere to the respectful cultural norm of wearing a hijab, she designed a hijab that would be comfortable to wear while using a hearing aid. The hijab she created started a movement. Endurance athletes reached out asking her to make one for them, and then women in the medical field. The end result was the creation of an entire line of apparel for women who dress modestly that extends beyond religious identities. Technology played a major role because it helps Melissa with communicating to her customers, vendors, suppliers, investors and manufacturers.
Jerod Couch, Owner/Partner of Jerod Couch
Jerod is the owner and partner of The Creative Couch, a filmmaking business. This past year, he created an eight episode digital series called #WASHED. At the time, he had limited resources and funds, but he did have talent, ideas and drive. Technology opened a door of opportunities for him and allowed him to create a show on par with larger studio productions. A reliable and powerful computer allowed him to create the TV show. Jerod’s team produced this show independently, which means partnerships were heavily involved and essential due to their non-existent budget. In the end, their film was selected to be featured in a Film Festival in Hollywood and they have secured national digital distribution.
Ronald Sato, Owner/Partner of S+L Millworks Inc.
Facebook: S + L Millworks
Ronald is the owner and partner of S+L Millworks, a custom millwork company based in Tampa, Florida. After the collapse of a 20 member woodshop, many craftsmen were out of jobs. Ronald decided to save a couple of jobs and start a business with these talented fabricators. The Great Recession allowed Ronald and his team to collect the tools they needed from auctions and failed businesses. Their network partner includes contractors, designers, vendors and business friendlies. Ronald and his team use 3-D rendering applications such as Sketch-up, to accurately draw their clients’ ideas. Since Ronald replaced his team’s outdated computers with Dell XPS towers, they were able to enhance their renderings, shop drawings and material take offs. Ronald said, “People are the most important aspect of our business.” Ronald and his team are a group of talented people who use their vendor resources and network partners to provide quality products to their customers.
Jeffery Clark, Owner/Partner of 2114 Los Feliz, LLC
Jeffery is the owner and partner of 2114 Los Felix, LLC, and he owns several rentals in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Based in California, technology plays a HUGE role in managing, growing and maintaining his properties and business. Jeffery’s properties are scattered all around Phoenix, Arizona. This means it’s imperative that the team carries communication devices with them wherever they go. Jeffery and his team utilize Dell laptops all the time. By carrying their PCs around, they can immediately obtain the information they need whether it’s tenant information, house history/repairs, taxes, insurance, POCs and more.
Lindsay Lasseigne, Owner/Partner of Jeff Lasseigne Construction
Lindsay and her husband own a construction company that specializes in building using a combination of old world craftsmanship and new technology. As owners of a construction company, Lindsay multitasks as contractor, designer, business student, secretary, public relations, marketing, wife, the list goes on. After many years of sacrificing for their labor of love, their business is growing! While it remains a small family-run business, they have learned to embrace how ‘new world technology’ is key to continued growth and success. The end result, their motivation and Dell’s technology will allow their business to soar.
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