Award: Hughes Barney Investigations

Owner: Jeannette Hughes  |  Location: Largo, MD  |  Formed In: 2005  |


Jeannette Hughes and her husband, Dale, are parents of 10 children; six of them are adopted, and three have special needs. “In planning for their future needs and life care, we decided that the best way to ensure this endeavor was to start a business that would last for generations,” she says. “We saw a need for specialized security forces.” With her husband’s experience as a retired D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officer, and with one of her sons’ experience in intelligence, a security agency was a natural fit.

“Since our beginning in 2005, major primes and agencies have not exactly welcomed us warmly,” Hughes recalled. As a minority woman-owned business in a male-dominated industry, Hughes Barney Investigations struggled to find its initial footing.

My Mentors

My Successes:

“Using the knowledge that Mrs. Williams has taught me thus far, I can see a difference already as to how the primes interact with me now,” Hughes reports. “Subcontracting work and increased revenues are right on the horizon for our company.” Together, the women are targeting the information needed for the 8(a) application, section by section, so the process it won’t be so overwhelming.

Hughes Barney Investigations was selected as one of 102 state winners in the 2017 American Small Business Championship.

How SCORE Helped:

“In our business field, we have the experience to perform the work,” Hughes says. “However, I need hands-on help and knowledge in order to understand how to properly navigate within the contracting world of state and federal governments.”

Hughes connected with SCORE volunteer mentor Karen Williams, and shared her goal of completing her 8(a) Business Development Program certification. Not being certified has prevented her from securing contracts to ensure that her business continues to thrive. Hughes is working with Williams to determine her best method of achieving smart growth.