From workshops and one-on-one training to networking events across the state to personal coaching and business assistance, the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Women’s Business Center goes above and beyond to provide these free services to all Nebraskans.
Recently hired to take on the role of Women’s Business Center director, Jessica Campos jumped at the chance to work with the Center to help entrepreneurs and small business owners begin and expand successful businesses.
“This is just one of those opportunities that you don't always come across,” said Jessica. “This role combines my passion for helping small businesses and entrepreneurs with helping our communities thrive.”
Jessica’s background in banking and finance includes more than a decade of experience providing financial education to consumers, business owners, and their employees. She also spent 10 years partnering with different community organizations to ensure community growth through small businesses.
As director of the Women’s Business Center, Jessica’s duties include promoting the growth of women and minority-owned businesses through programs that provide training, technical assistance, and access to credit and capital.
“I work closely with our loan specialists, business development specialists, and REAP director on marketing strategies,” she said. “I love that I can continue to embrace my passion toward small business while building relationships with partners, contractors, and community organizers.”
The new director has already set ambitious goals for herself in the short time she’s been a member of the Center’s team.
“I would like to build relationships that will allow us as an organization to thrive in our communities,” said Jessica. “I want to see the Center have such an impact in our communities that we will be the first option people think of when it comes to training and developing a business entrepreneur, or an existing business owner wanting additional group or one-on-one training.”
Jessica’s mission to see small businesses thrive goes hand in hand with her passion for rural America.
“I moved to Grand Island, Nebraska, from Houston, Texas, when I was 5 years old and have known Nebraska to be my home ever since,” she said. “Rural America holds a special place in my heart because I have had the opportunity to grow up here—the values I have gained growing up in a small community are definitely something I would like my kids to have as well.”
And, when she’s not working, Jessica makes it a priority to spend as much time as possible with her children, to instill those values.
“I have been married for 12 years, and we have two amazing kids, an 11-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter,” she said. “We love to travel, and spend time watching movies, playing board games, taking bike rides, and participating in 5k and 10k runs.”
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