Jessica’s story is one of determination and persistence. Growing up in Mexico, she always had an entrepreneurial spirit. “I was 14 years old when my family moved to the United States,” says Jessica. “Even then, I knew my American dream was to have my own business.”
That dream was put on hold when she realized she needed a job to support her family after graduating from college. Jessica worked for 7 years in the construction industry and was working as a project manager when the recession hit in 2008. Faced with the prospect of losing her job, Jessica decided to start her own business.
“When I told my supervisor I was going to start a business, he told me I had three things working against me: being female, young, and Latina,” says Jessica. “I told him wait and see – I’m going to make those things work for me instead of against me.”
To gain the tools she needed to successfully launch a business, Jessica turned to the Women’s Business Center at Mi Casa Resource Center and enrolled in a comprehensive 13-week Business Success course. “I learned about all the components of a business: structure, marketing, operations, finance, and more,” says Jessica.
In 2011, Jessica became the Founder and CEO of Environmental Consulting Services (ECS), LLC. As her business started to grow, Jessica enrolled in the Business Breakthrough class at Mi Casa Resource Center to help her take the operations to the next level. ECS now has 3 full-time employees and a team of contractors who are always busy, especially with the current construction boom in Denver.
This year, Jessica took the next big step to grow her business by purchasing a building with a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The two-story building near downtown Denver houses the ECS office as well as other offices and warehouse space.
In addition to being a successful business owner, Jessica is passionate about giving back to the community. She serves on the Board for several community organizations and has plans to use her new building to provide offices for other small businesses who cannot afford the general market commercial lease rates.
“Mi Casa helped me move past the barriers in my head as a woman and they helped me break through the ‘concrete ceiling,’” Jessica says. “Sometimes all you need is someone telling you they believe in you. Mi Casa did that for me, and I hope to do that for others.”