MADE Program Graduation Launches 40+ Businesses on Small Business Saturday

November 26 was Small Business Saturday, a nationally observed holiday that takes place each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This is a special day to recognize, celebrate, and support small businesses and the contributions they make to their community. We at the Orange County/Inland Empire Small Business Development Center were fortunate enough to assist 40+ small business owners enter the marketplace and make their first sale through our MADE Program.

What’s MADE? 

Lisa Marie Flores is excited to show off a fresh package of Grandpa Joe’s Tamales

MADE is a five-week program in partnership with the Original OC Swap Meet, designed to assist start-up product-based businesses with entering the marketplace to validate their concepts. This quick-paced program, accelerates participants’ business concepts in just a few short weeks and gives them the ability to operate an Original OC Swap Meet vendor booth and sell to the public at a live market/event. Participants learn the core concepts of creating a successful business through planning, marketing, and financing and receive an invaluable opportunity to make their business dreams a reality.

A Successful 2022 MADE Program

Royree Toomer, Owner of Simply Savvy Sistaz, and her family

This year, we worked with a diverse group of business owners providing a broad range of products to consumers. It was a remarkable sight to witness all the entrepreneurs go from business concepts to full-fledged businesses launched in just five short weeks. When asked about the ways the MADE program assisted her, Royree Toomer, owner of Simply Savvy Sistaz, told us, “the SBDC helped me believe in myself more as a business owner and give me the confidence I need to know that I can do it, and know that I have support.

Vene Cacao

Stephen Heinpmann, another MADE graduate and owner of Vene Cacao, was grateful that the SBDC provided his business with “more publicity, the ability to talk to people, and meet key players to grow the business itself.” His favorite part about being in the MADE program was being able to make rich connections with the other participants and have the opportunity to showcase his products at the Original OC Swap Meet.

Our SBDC staff is unquestionably proud of the MADE participants and eager to see how they make strides in their respective industries. Manal Richa, our CSUF SBDC Director, states, “the MADE participants have gone through an accelerated learning curve, including cohort training coupled with one-on-one consulting to prepare for their big launch on Small Business Saturday. They have learned the ins and outs of how to officially launch and expand their business into a new market and prepare to make sales and grow their customer base in less than five weeks!”

California Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris browsing booths

Interested in Joining the Next MADE Program?

If you’re looking for more information regarding the MADE Program, how to apply, or would like to subscribe to our MADE newsletter, please visit:

Looking to start or grow your business? 

We at Orange County Inland Empire SBDC are here to help you with every aspect of your business to help it grow and become successful. Give us a call at 1-800-616-7232 or schedule a quick, 15-minute intake appointment at to see how we can help you start, grow, and succeed.


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