A business created by A-B Tech Small Business Center client CarolAnn Bauer received an annual award from the NC Community College System Small Business Center Network.
The category—Business Success Story: Overcoming Challenges—featured Bauer and her business Dry Apron, LLC. Executive Director Jill Sparks and the SBC team were recognized for their work with Bauer, who invented the first and only specialty underwear for plus-size women who suffer from intertrigo, and is the owner of the company that manufactures them.
As a client of the Small Business Center, Bauer took advantage of SBC seminars, utilized the SBC Resource Library, and entered the A-B Tech Business Incubation program. She received help from the SBC to perfect her pitch to win seed funding to perfect the design, beta-test it, and contract with a small company to make the garments.
Bauer navigated a number of challenges to achieve her dream. “She is a senior citizen who grew up in a poor neighborhood, overcame health problems, was on disability for several years, and navigated both full and part-time jobs to find time and resources to build her business,” Sparks said. “She believes that everyone has something to give, regardless of their challenges and encourages others to pursue their dreams of business ownership.”
“I am proud of the work that Jill Sparks, Duane Adams, and Daphne Carson do for the small businesses of Buncombe and Madison counties,” said A-B Tech President John D. Gossett. Small businesses are the heartbeat of every community and their economic health is vitally important. The story of CarolAnn Bauer is like so many entrepreneurs who have the perseverance to succeed. I am thankful that CarolAnn chose A-B Tech to help her on her journey.”
About A-B Tech Community College
Founded in 1959 in the heart of Asheville, A-B Tech is the largest higher education institution in Western North Carolina, serving more than 23,000 students a year in Buncombe and Madison counties. One of 58 community colleges in the NC Community College System, A-B Tech offers more than 120 degrees, diplomas and certificates, as well as a wide range of workforce training and continuing education programs.
Now celebrating its 60th year, A-B Tech includes the main Asheville campus, A-B Tech Enka (home of the A-B Tech Small Business Center and Business Incubation Program, Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast and N.C. BioNetwork), A-B Tech Madison, A-B Tech South, and A-B Tech Woodfin.
Learn more at abtech.edu.