Do It Yourself

Do It Yourself

Small Business Successes

September 2003 - May 2004

Virtually every publicly traded company listed on the stock exchanges here on Wall Street started at one point with little more than an original idea, a business plan, and a lot of hard work. “Do It Yourself: Small Business Successes” looks back at the early founding of some of America’s favorite national brands. Many of today’s most pervasive product logos can be traced to far more humble origins. Imagine omnipresent Intel, the giant computer chip maker, tentatively postulating in its 1969 business plan the hope that “many of [our] customers will be located outside California.” Out of these stories come empowering lessons about perseverance, creativity and innovation, and preserving core values.

"Do It Yourself" also examines the origins and role of the U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA, as a champion for America’s small business entrepreneurs. Since 1953, the SBA has helped over 20 million small businesses grow. This particular federal agency, whose origins trace back to the Depression era, is unique for its mandate to aggressively advocate on behalf of its constituents in the commercial sector. Through its popular loan programs, the SBA is the world’s biggest business lender.

As the exhibit depicts, the agency provides many other valuable programs and services as well, including disaster relief. Since September 11, 2001, the SBA has provided over $235 million in disaster relief to assist small businesses here in lower Manhattan. We are proud to host the official exhibition celebrating SBA’s 50th anniversary. We salute them ­ and the millions of enterprising Americans they serve every day.