Thursday, March 27, 2014, Netswat was recognized as a 2014 Success Award Winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network in the annual Success Award program for small business success. The Arizona Small Business Development Center Network is Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. Each year the Network highlights and honors some of Arizona’s brightest small business successes for the vital role that they play in our state’s economy. Netswat worked with the Central Arizona College Small Business Development Center to achieve a higher level of success. Read their story below:
Jeff Babb was born with the spirit of an entrepreneur. When he was a kid, he used to walk around to all the houses in our neighborhood collecting newspapers from their houses and attempting to resell them to the homeowners. He picked up odd jobs like picking dandelions for 10 cents each—budding with creativity and taking full advantage of the neighbor’s generous offer, each dandelion when presented for the payoff count had mysteriously broken and reformed into smaller, separate dandelions. Since those early days, Babb has grown up and reformed his ways, choosing to build a business based on honesty and integrity instead of creative license. Babb explains, he met Jim when he was working at the Central Arizona Corporate Center. This meeting eventually introduced Babb to the Small Business Development Center and resources for small businesses. While at Central Arizona Corporate Center, Babb became involved in DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) and wrote a business plan for a competition. Babb’s plan won an Award of Excellence in the 2010 national competition in Kentucky. Though Babb had always wanted to own his own business, he had thought up until this point that, if it were possible at all, he wouldn’t be able to begin the process until he was much older and with years of experience. “It was the faith Jim Rhodes had in me and the skills learned through the Central Arizona College SBDC that helped me realize that I didn’t have to wait. I already have a marketable skill that is highly valued.” explains Babb. The SBDC helped Babb revise my business plan, and with the revised plan in hand he was able to set out into the world of commerce. In addition, Jim Rhodes introduced Babb to Scott Morin with the Oasis Pavilion Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where he was given the opportunity to bid on a contract to build their entire computer infrastructure from the ground up. After presenting his plan of action to Scott Morin, Babb was awarded the contract and began working at Oasis Pavilion. During his time there, he was introduced to Joseph Oladukun with Oasis Home Health Care. This introduction eventually led to Babb taking over management of their computer infrastructure as well. Thus was the beginning of a great small business providing a vital service to the community and generating economic impact for Arizona.
Babb notes, “I couldn’t have come as far as I have today without the help of Jim Rhodes and the Central Arizona College Small Business Development Center. With no startup capital, I have been able to turn what was once just an interest in computers into a fast-growing business. I also hope to one day be able to mentor others as I have been mentored by Jim and the SBDC.”