Success Story…AEA Environmental Services
After eight years in business Elijah Adoeye, owner of AEA Environmental Services, thought it was time to expand his market. He started looking into the possibilities of a federal program for minority contractors and soon discovered plenty of obstacles that included a complex application process and stiff competition.
When asked about the challenges of qualifying for 8 (a) certification through the Small Business Administration, Elijah chuckles, “It was not easy at all. The process is a challenge and we could not have done it without help from Oklahoma Small Business Development Center.”
One of Elijah’s employees told him about the OKSBDC located on the campus of Rose State College in Midwest City. Mike Cure, the Center Director, talked with Elijah about his goals for AEA, “We suggested he apply for 8(a) and Hubzone certifications. Elijah was not familiar with the process, and we recommended he work with Marvin Fisher at the Langston University OKSBDC.”
“Mr. Fisher helped me tremendously through the cumbersome application process. We achieved certification, but i was surprised at how long the process took. They have stuck with me through it all. We are different from most cleaning companies. We not only offer janitorial options, we deal with hazardous waste,” says Elijah.
After 20 years as a microbiologist in the medical field Elijah said “I was always looking for an opportunity to work on my own, and the cleaning service seemed like a great opportunity to utilize my background and training.” AEA is now certified to work government contracts in the area of hazardous and non-hazardous waste management. The company also performs waste removal, disposal, commercial cleaning, final construction cleaning, Phase 1 environmental inspection, mold sampling and remediation and lead-base paint abatement.
“Within two months, I got a call from Mrs. Woodfork about a federal contract she thought would be perfect. We submitted a bid and won because of our environmental background. Ms. Woodfork and Mr. Cure worked together to help put the bid together, and we won the contract. Cure also recommended we get certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. That was successful and we are looking forward to bidding on other government jobs through the Department of Transportation. Although the process has been challenging, the expertise of the counselors has been invaluable. They are constantly reviewing our operation and our position in the market to make sure we are getting the greatest advantage.” — Elijah Adeoye