Andy Kim started I.T. Source at 19, building computers and selling them online and offering installation services. But as electronics prices plummeted in the mid-2000s, so did Kim's fortunes. He handed the reins to his mother, Chun Kim, who took the company in a different direction—actually, two different directions. I.T. Source now sells credit card processing services, mostly to small businesses in Los Angeles's Koreatown, and, through a division called Massive Telecom, brokers wholesale cellular minutes. "My mom has this rich business wisdom," Kim says. Once the business was stable, he returned as CEO. His goal today is to hire great salespeople and expand the company's reach beyond L.A.'s Koreatown and downtown. Chun is chairman of the board and makes one demand of her son: Nearly 15 percent of the company's profits must be donated to her church.
From the September 2011 issue of Inc. magazine