A dog chases a lure from Wicked Coursing (La Mesa, Calif.)
Washington, D.C., July 13, 2011 – Pat Bennett, owner of La Mesa, Calif.-based small business Wicked Coursing, recently received a $20,000 award from the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) in recognition of her excellent small-business practices and her success in doing less with more while simultaneously driving innovation.
Bennett founded Wicked Coursing, a lure coursing equipment manufacturer, in 2008. Wicked Coursing specializes in fun and easy-to-use equipment for lure coursing, a fast-paced chase sport for dogs. As a member of the NASE, Bennett applied for and received a $5,000 Growth Grant™ in December 2010 – part of $550,000 in grants given by the NASE since 2006 in response to members’ needs for access to capital.
According to an NASE Member survey, 77% of America’s micro-business owners do not believe there are enough funding resources available. A majority of respondents reported having to use personal savings to start their businesses and identified a need for funding from associations and nonprofit organizations.
Bennett used the original grant funds to launch Wicked Coursing’s latest and most accessible product, the ZippityDog™, for sale on her website. Some of the funds were also used for tooling for a critical component in the L’il Monster product, allowing Wicked Coursing to remain competitive but also grow and bring an entry-level product to market. Bennett had received orders for 20 ZippityDog machines shortly after launching the product on her website, and has already sold more of her products in the first two quarters of 2011 than in entire past years. Bennett’s ability to leverage a small amount of money to expand her business, as well as her drive to design, manufacture and bring multiple products to market on her own prompted the NASE to select her out of 16 other grant recipients for a further financial award of $20,000.
“Transforming just the glimmer of an idea to a reality with a full-blown product out on the market has been a big challenge,” Bennett said. “Without the grant there’s no way I would have been able to get a new product out to the market so quickly. We’re still growing and experiencing growing pains, and this award from the NASE is truly phenomenal for us and will help take our business to the next level.”
“Pat truly exemplifies today’s small business owner,” said NASE President Kristie Arslan. “So many business owners are having to do more with less, and we’re thrilled to recognize Pat’s hard work and invest in the future of Wicked Coursing.”
Arslan presented Bennett with a $20,000 check at a ceremony in front of her family, friends and Wicked’s employees and business associates. High resolution photographs are available. E-mail Kristofer.Eisenla@widmeyer.com.