Goodwill Industries Helps Entrepreneurs Get Started

Goodwill Industries of North Georgia, Inc.Sign in window that reads "Come in We're Open"

With its 2009 Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals (JOLI) grant, Goodwill Industries of North Georgia, Inc. implemented a micro-enterprise project called MicroMAX.  This initiative assists entrepreneurs and business owners who are ready to start hiring and creating jobs by helping them develop comprehensive business plans and providing a business coach.

Goodwill Industries of North Georgia, Inc. has been successful in generating jobs and business growth.    By 2011, the MicroMAX program had produced 44 jobs and 1,138 business contracts. 

After graduating from the MicroMAX program, Kathy Stringer, owner/operator of Eating 4 Life Balance, was able to overcome the barriers to her business growth.    She has since contracted with the health and wellness classes at Goodwill of North Georgia, St. Thomas More Catholic School, Alkebulon Academy, and with the YMCA health and wellness program for seniors.  

Another graduate of the MicroMax program is Edrichus Sykes, owner of True Green Coating. The MicroMAX program provided Edrichus with a new computer, a line of credit with Staples, and a business coach who helped him submit and secure a $22,000 contract with Goodwill’s Green Construction program. 

LaVonda Miles, owner of Ella Designs, is a graduate of both the Goodwill’s BusinessNOW and MicroMAX programs.  LaVonda was able to acquire embroidery contracts with both Georgia Tech and Emory Medical Schools.    Ella Designs also certified her as a vendor for DeKalb County for   two years.  She now employs one part-time employee. 

The MicroMAX program has also assisted Patricia Allen, owner of “Handle It” Handbagz, in revising her business plan, developing clear market strategies, and purchasing an industrial sewing machine designed for making leather goods.  As a result, “Handle It” Handbagz has expanded and the handbags are now carried in several upscale boutiques.

For more information on Goodwill Industries of North Georgia, Inc., please visit their website:

Learn more about Goodwill Industries' JOLI project