Start Small Think Big

Actionable impact for underserved small businesses

An intuitive digital experience fuels the success of resource-limited entrepreneurs

Start Small Think Big, or SSTB, is a non-profit providing a special mix of finance, marketing, and legal assistance to small business owners from marginalized communities. On a high-growth trajectory and with plans to scale the operation nationwide, the organization needed a critical view of its internal and external processes, to optimize how small business owners, volunteers, and employees could better use the platform.

Partnering with argodesign on a blue-sky service design and development program, SSTB was able to create new experiences tailored to its distinctive user base.

Balancing humanity and technology

The essence of the SSTB platform is to enhance the necessary interpersonal collaboration that occurs between entrepreneurs and their service teams. SSTB undertook the new design to introduce efficiencies and workarounds in the collaboration workflow for a more seamless user experience.

For initial discovery, we audited four main components of the experience — orchestration, access, scalability, look and feel— considering all these attributes through the lens of humanity and connection, and in balance with the benefits technology brings to bear.

Of critical importance was creating a cohesive, well-run experience for everyone involved, with human touch remaining at the center of what makes SSTB a transformational service for small business owners in need of support.

Creating a strong foundation to scale

argo designed and delivered a multi-faceted set of new experiences built on a robust set of forms powered by Salesforce:

Optimized for older phones

To make sure every user has a successful experience, the designs are optimized to work on older smaller phones.

Eligibility quiz

Creates awareness of services offered, and provides clarity around small business owner qualifications before the application process begins.

Client and volunteer dashboard

Fully personalized experience with multiple ways to track progress and information, intended to marry the in-person + digital experience from application to project completion.

Volunteer opportunities hub

Offers the ability to tailor volunteer projects to expertise and interest, and encourages repeat volunteers.

Volunteer coordinator view

Experience that offers an impersonation mode to expedite requests and see a bird’s eye view of their corporate volunteer cohort’s activity.

Improved forms

A ground-up redesign of the forms experience, prioritizing security and a lower cognitive load.

Our work closed the gap between SSTB and their current and future small business owners and volunteers, strengthened relationships by digitizing operational tasks, created a secure hub for organization and communication, and established a strong foundation for nationwide scaling.