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Big Insight: Small Business

Real talk with small business owners

Hear what's really going on from six Central Ohio entrepreneurs about the state of small business today, including how they made it through the pandemic, the importance of community, and why organizations like ECDI are crucial to small business survival.

Small Business Owners share experiences

Back row: LeJuan Coleman, Lisa Gutierrez, Omar D'Angelo, and Sara Rose

Seated: Josephine Talieh and Haleema Shafeek

Big Insights Video

Meet the Entrepreneurs

Lisa Gutierrez owner of Dos Hermanos Tacos

Lisa Gutierrez, Dos Hermanos Tacos (Moderator)

Lisa has grown Dos Hermanos from one borrowed food truck to a multi-million dollar business. She continues to create jobs in the community, collaborate with other businesses, and pass on her valuable knowledge to other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Haleema Shafeek, GOFS: GOFS Commercial Interiors owner of GOFS Supply and GOFS Technology

Haleema Shafeek, GOFS: GOFS Commercial Interiors, GOFS Supply and GOFS Technology  

Haleema launched her interior design firm in 2008, offering products and services with a "sustainable" focus. She is a mother, U.S. Army veteran, expert networker, and is building opportunity for family legacy into her business model.

Omar D’Angelo, Barroluco and Palmas Tropical Escape

Omar D’Angelo, Barroluco and Palmas Tropical Escape

He started out by re-envisioning his family's bakery in Argentina as a food truck in Columbus. The renewed family business was a hit, winning “best food truck” awards at Columbus festivals. Flash forward, Omar runs an Argentine restaurant, food truck, and Palmas Tropical Escape, where he hosts LGBTQ and Latin American events.

Sara Rose owner of Objective Reality Games

Sara Rose, Objective Reality Games

Sara and her husband, Colin, followed their passion for gaming and launched a virtual reality company in Chilicothe, Ohio. In an area heavily impacted by the opioid epidemic, Objective Reality Games has made a positive impact on the community by giving young people an alternative to drug use. This business offers in-person arcade games, virtual escape room games, and cloud gaming memberships.

LeJuan Coleman owner of iResolve Fitness

LeJuan Coleman, iResolve Fitness

LeJuan runs a gym in Columbus, and found success in pivoting his business model to incorporate more personal training services during COVID. He started his business when he realized entrepreneurship was the answer to overcoming barriers to employment, due to having a criminal record after he was incarcerated as a minor.

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Josephine Talieh, Provider Health Services and Golden Provider Health Services 

Josephine Talieh, Provider Health Services and Golden Provider Health Services 

As a refugee working as a nursing assistant, Josephine discovered she had a knack for connecting her community to jobs in healthcare. Now, she has two businesses delivering life-enhancing services to the elderly and individuals with developmental disabilities who need support and wish to stay home for their day-to-day lives.

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Meet the Entrepreneurs
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