Award-Winning Entrepreneur Offers Advice on Starting a Business

May 26th, 2010



Continuing Education


Founder of Mulkey Engineering Featured at Inaugural Wake Tech Event


RALEIGH, N.C. (May 25, 2010) - No one ever said starting a business was easy - just ask Barbara Mulkey! She started Mulkey Engineers & Consultants in her home in 1993, with two young children and a husband whose job required frequent travel. Seventeen years later, her company is recognized as an industry leader and champion of family-friendly workplace policies. Mulkey shared the story of her success today at the Cardinal Club in Raleigh, part of the inaugural event for the Wake Tech/Wachovia Wells Fargo Center for Entrepreneurship.

"I thought, ‘there must be a better way to do things'," Mulkey told the audience of about 100 small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs. To better balance her work and family life, Mulkey decided to start her own business. Looking back, she believes she did several things right: she prepared a business plan, had a back-up plan if that "worst-case scenario" came about, and she honestly assessed her strengths and weaknesses.

However, Mulkey also admits she did some things wrong: "I waited too long to hire support staff, I diversified too fast, and I didn't have a ‘back-up plan' for success!" Mulkey says success presents challenges of its own, such as the need for additional space and staffing. Her best advice for new small business owners? Be trustworthy and ethical.

Mulkey's presentation is the first in the Center's Entrepreneur Speaker Series, highlighting the success stories of local business owners. "Barbara's story is so impressive," says Fred Gebarowski, Wake Tech's Director of Entrepreneurship, "and we're thrilled to have her kick off what we believe will be a fascinating and valuable series. Tough times often inspire people to start their own businesses, and we know local entrepreneurs and hopefuls can learn from people like Barbara who've successfully taken that step."

The Wake Tech/Wachovia Wells Fargo Center for Entrepreneurship was established in January 2010 with a grant from Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company as a resource center for business owners. The Entrepreneur Speaker Series is a quarterly program in which successful entrepreneurs share stories about their business ventures. The Center also offers scholarships for curriculum programs for college credit as well as continuing education courses, seminars and events, one-on-one counseling, small business resources, and a virtual colony of entrepreneurs for sharing ideas online. More information can be found at

Wake Tech Newsroom

A lot happens at Wake Tech. Keep up with what’s most newsworthy at our campuses and training centers. Learn about innovative programs and partnerships, faculty accomplishments and leadership initiatives, student events and more.

Subscribe to RSS

Social Media

Monthly Archive

quick links for

Welcome! We are pleased that you are considering Wake Tech as you plan for your education and career.

Welcome! Please explore the information and resources on these pages. If you have questions, we will be happy to help.

Welcome! We’re glad you’re here and hope you enjoy your course or courses at Wake Tech. Please let us know if you have questions or need more information.

Wake Tech welcomes veterans and provides assistance with VA benefits and other services.

Wake Tech offers customized employee training for area businesses. We also offer career fairs, job posting services, and other resources to assist employers seeking full-time and part-time employees.

We value our alumni and want you to stay connected to Wake Tech! Read some of our success stories, and find out about our Alumni Affinity program, with special benefits and incentives created for you.

Explore the professional services and resources available for Wake Tech employees.

Welcome! Please explore the information and resources on these pages. If you have questions, we will be happy to help.