Microenterprise

Shirley Washington's Sway-Oh product

SCORE Turns Entrepreneur’s Late-Night Eureka Moment into Thriving Skewer Business

Shirley Washington’s middle-of-the-night inspiration – mixed with a splash of assistance from SCORE St. Louis – has led to a recipe for success for her skewer-serving business. Shirley Washington of Sway-Oh The St. Louis-based entrepreneur launched Sway-Oh and its debut product line – Skewer Food Server – in 2019 after...

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Dr. Natalie King, founder of Florae Beauty

Born in a Kitchen, St. Louis’ Florae Goes Beyond Textured Hair Products

One of the first things you notice about Dr. Natalie King is her long, voluminous, curly brown hair. “It’s something that’s always been at the background of everything that I do,” Natalie says. “Coming into the corporate world – into spaces where you have to lead with a ‘good’ image –...

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Chrystal L. Graves of Liquid Hair Institute

How a Missouri Hair Stylist Went from Salon Owner to Tech Founder

Successfully starting, growing and transforming a business is a journey filled with hurdles, triumphs and lessons learned—especially when it comes to leveraging your brick-and-mortar experience to create a tech startup. Chrystal L. Graves has plenty of experience chasing and achieving her entrepreneurial dreams, from building a roster of clients as an...

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Melodi Wisswell of Platinum Paws in Columbia, Missouri

How A Resource You Should Use Turned an Entrepreneur’s Love for Animals into a Dog-Grooming Salon

Melodi Wisswell’s career path seems obvious in retrospect. She’s always loved animals. She has a business degree. And she wanted to live near her family. Now, she’s opened Platinum Paws, a high-end dog-grooming spa in Columbia, Missouri. Here’s how all the pieces came together with the help of the...

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A chicken at a farm

What Is Value-Added Agriculture, and How Can It Make a Huge Difference in Your Business?

What if there were a way for farmers and agriculture producers to enhance their profitability and diversify their product offerings. You’re in luck … there is! In recent years, value-added agriculture, as it’s called, allows those tied to ag to add value to their agricultural products, tap into new markets,...

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St. Louis downtown skyline featuring the Arch

Which 9 Missouri Companies Made Inc.’s List of Best Workplaces for 2023?

Inc. Magazine is out with its 2023 Best Workplaces list, and nine companies in Missouri made the cut — ranging from a tech firm that offers communication software for churches to a real estate company that specializes in student housing. The magazine honored 591 companies across the nation. To qualify,...

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Paley and Erik Carmona of Carmona's Chamoy

How a Missouri Couple Got Their Start Selling Homemade Chamoy at First Fridays

Entrepreneurship can be delicious! Just ask husband-and-wife duo Erik and Paley Carmona. What started out as a kitchen experiment has turned into a tasty side hustle. Now, Carmona’s Chamoy is flourishing, thanks to support from loved ones, the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation and the Latino Arts Foundation. Here’s...

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$700K USDA RISE Grant Primes Green Hills RPC, MOSourceLink to Grow Agriculture Jobs in NW MO

MOSourceLink and Green Hills Regional Planning Commission have teamed up to create more opportunities in agriculture entrepreneurship in Northwest Missouri.

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How Lake of the Ozarks Startup 11 North Is Navigating Supply Chain, Labor Challenges

Jeff and Amanda DeWitt of custom home services company 11 North have faced and conquered plenty of challenges spurred by the pandemic.

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