2017 SBA Home-Based Business Champion Award Goes to Houston Community College

On May 11, Houston Community College was honored with the 2017 Home-Based Business Champion Award by the Houston District Small Business Administration at the SBA SCORE Small Business Awards Luncheon.  Sandra Louvier, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E) at HCC Northwest, accepted the award on behalf of the Center for Entrepreneurship.  She shares the recognition with all internal and external partners and the home-based business owners that have sought launch and growth through HCC’s entrepreneurial programs.

Home Based Champions Table SBA Awards

Key entrepreneurial champions at HCC Northwest attended.  From L to R:  Dr. Mohammad Tehrani (C4E Lead Mentor), Dr. Destry Dokes (College Operations Officer), Sandra Louvier,  Nina Youngers (standing) (Owner, Got Dirty Blinds.com), Pete Mastren (Sandra’s husband), Dr. Zachary Hodges (President), David Regenbaum (Entrepreneur-in-Residence), Evelyn Velasquez, (Business Faculty), Dr. Jimmy Adams (Dean, Center of Excellence in Media Arts and Technology) and Sue Phelan (SCORE mentor).

Khan Louvier Jeffcoat-SBA Home-Based Business Champion AwardThe Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E) assists both startup and existing small business owners.  “Not all entrepreneurs we work with start as a home-based business, but a lot of them do, because it’s a great way to start a business without risking too much financially while you’re testing your product or service.  Then it gives you an opportunity to grow from there, ” says Louvier.

The Center for Entrepreneurship offers workshops, seminars, continuing education classes, college credit classes, certificates, and the annual HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition (BPC), which awards nearly $35,000 in seed money and in-kind prizes each year.  Strategic partner Newspring provides contestants training and 60 plus mentors annually from February through April in this working competition.

Last year alone, the C4E hosted 21 startup and growth-oriented small business workshops and seminars, reaching 1,250 attendees.  Depending on the seminar topic, an estimated 40% to 60% of the attendees had either begun as home-based, were currently operating as home-based, or were planning to launch as home-based businesses. The Center for Entrepreneurship also hosted strategic mentoring partners and entrepreneurs for 95 one-on-one mentoring appointments.  In the 2016 HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition, four out of five winners won for plans involving the launch of their businesses as home-based in the early years.  Half of the completer teams were either existing or proposed home-based businesses.

Examples of Home-Based Business Owners who have moved through Center for Entrepreneurship  programs, including the HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition (BPC):

  • Nina Youngers, Got Dirty Blinds
  • Todd Bermont, TCC Learning
  • Noe Erazo, Ole Noe
  • Mark & Janice Adams, Adams Tea Company
  • Mario Garcia, Mandarino’s Coffee
  • Jimmy Trihn, Naughty Noah’s Noodles
  • Maria Duran, Duran Concepts
  • Erik Calderon, FLMC Films

BPC Alumni who began as home-based business owners and now have grown into one or more locations:

  • Bruce and Kathleen McMordie, Texas Swim Academy
  • Susan Marriott, BioScience Writers

The HCC Office of Entrepreneurial Initiatives, headed by Dr. Maya Durnovo, Chief Entrepreneurial Officer, was a Gold Sponsor of the awards luncheon.  Representatives of the HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program and HCC’s Minority Business Development Agency Business Center were at the luncheon, along with numerous entrepreneurs who have grown through those programs.

HCC congratulates all of the 2017 Houston District Small Business Award winners:

  • Financial Services Champion of the Year – Rajiv B. Bhavsar, Wallis State Bank
  • Home-Based Business Champion of the Year – Sandra Louvier, Houston Community College – Northwest
  • Minority Small Business Champion of the Year – Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, Sr. Pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church
  • Women in Business Champion of the Year – Dr. Saleha B. Khumawala, SURE – UofH Bauer College of Business
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Dr. Faheem Inayatali, O.D., Eye Center of Houston – Vision Source
  • Family-Owned Small Business of the Year – Justin Morisak, Houston Hermetics, Inc.
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year – Sadik Dalal, Axistrade, Inc.
  • Small Business Person of the Year – Stuart A. Lynn, Lynn & Associates Engineering & Windstorm
  • Entrepreneurial Success Award- Richard Wood, Wurst Haus Restaurant and Bar

HCC also thanks Nasr Khan and our strategic partner, Wallis State Bank for nominating Sandra Louvier and Houston Community College for this award and for the greater awareness it brings to the community about our Center for Entrepreneurship, HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition and all of HCC’s entrepreneurial offerings!

Posted May 15, 2017