AmerICAN+WILL exists to highlight American entrepreneurism and diversity in America’s small business community.

Mali Digius is a shining example of the American Dream. She was forced to leave her home in Iran and left all her possessions behind, except a few diamonds she smuggled in a tube of toothpaste. Fast forward to today, and she is a successful small business owner in California.

Starting a business can be a daunting endeavor. When people see stories of everyday people who have overcome tremendous odds and followed their dreams, it just may encourage them to pursue their own.

We’ve received story submissions from all over the country, and we’ve documented the stories of 14 entrepreneurs from Chicago to San Diego, Milwaukee to Atlanta, and beyond.

These stories include a single mom, a refugee, an ex-convict, a healthcare worker, a veteran, a female-led trucking company, and more. These stories represent the diversity of America and the immense pride and success that can come when you open a business in your community.