Washington Business Report: July 20, 2014

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Brain injury doesn't slow successful local entrepreneur

Rob McGovern knows a thing or two about overcoming challenges. He sold his wildly successful online employment site CareerBuilder before moving on to other exciting projects.

But that was when the serial entrepreneur’s life almost came to a crashing halt. Doctors said his traumatic brain injury would mean he might never walk or talk again.

Not only did McGovern prove the doctors wrong, he used his new lease on life to come up with another groundbreaking concept called Cobrain.

In his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, McGovern told Rebecca Cooper that he actually got a kick out of beating the odds.

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Malaysia Airlines disaster has economic impact

In the aftermath of the latest Malaysia Airlines mystery, questions have surfaced regarding how the world economy will be impacted. Associated Press economics reporter Josh Boak views energy prices and world travel as areas which will more than likely be affected, but he believes there is much left to be seen.

“There are a lot of question marks,” he told Washington Business Report, saying he believes that a tipping point of sorts has been reached. Boak says he expected more of an economic impact in the wake of the event.

As is often the case in major tragedies, a rare opportunity for togetherness has presented itself following Thursday’s events in Ukraine. Michael Hirsch, National Editor for Politico, told Rebecca Cooper he believes that the event may in fact result in a “more united front” in Western Europe.

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Local Virginia-based jam company packs a punch

Longtime friends Beth Lehman and Bethany Perez had toyed with the idea of starting a business for a number of years. Both brought marketing backgrounds from the University of West Virginia to the table, and when Bethany pitched Beth the idea of their own line of savory jams, The Essential Table was born.

The Essential Table is a small company with a somewhat unique product. They make savory jams – but not the kind you spread on toast in the morning. Think Bourbon Onion Jam, Spicy Tomato Jam, Stout Beer Jam, Strawberry Balsamic Jam or Tomatillo Jalapeno Jam.

“I had a lot of faith in Bethany in terms of her abilities in the kitchen; it’s just a passion of hers, whereas business is a passion of mine,” Lehman told Washington Business Report. “So it wasn’t so much a scary endeavor as it was ‘great, we have an idea. Now let’s brand it, put a business around it, put some structure, and then we’ll go from there.’”

Being both women’s first experience in starting a business, knowing where to start was vital. The duo credits their nine-month planning process as fundamental to getting off on the right foot.

“We did business plans, we did marketing plans - we really worked on our packaging and figuring out our costs,” Perez elaborated.

After seeing significant progress in their first year, the women of The Essential Table hope to grow their business over the course of the coming years.