Growing up, Allison B. was always interested in owning her own business and when she was laid off, it was an opportune time to pursue that goal. Allison’s knowledge of the construction field is extensive, with her degrees in land development and construction management. With her experience working for a general contractor and development agencies and working as an owner’s representative, Allison understands the trials and concerns of all the actors involved in constructing a building. So when Allison was laid off, she decided to start her own construction consulting business, "Autumn Leaves". She consults with, or acts as a mediator between, owners, contractors, and sub-contractors. For example, owners are required to hire a certain percentage of women and minorities for big projects. Allison helps owners meet requirements like these and navigate the system. Also, because many sub-contractors are more knowledgeable about their trade or skills than about how to manage a business, she helps sub-contractors manage their finances and contracts. Allison’s most recent project is to consult with an owner on how to build an energy-efficient office building with walls made out of clay and mud. She will assist the owner to obtain green certification for the building.
Even though Allison has been recognized as an honoree of the National Association of Minority Contractors because of the success of "Autumn Leaves", this loan will help her expand her business even more. Allison plans on using her loan to buy scheduling software and market her business. This interactive software will allow her to provide a unique service to contractors who need help with scheduling because owners always want a complete schedule from their contractors.
Allison’s next goal is to consult with companies to recycle their construction waste. Allison says, “I don’t always have a steady check coming in, but I enjoy working for myself. It was what I was meant to do all along. It is so rewarding.”
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.