From DREAMer to CEO, This Young Businesswoman Spins Dreams into Wealth

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By Christina Fernández-Morrow, Hola Iowa

Monica Reyes, CEO at Inmobiliaria, Inc. formed her business in 2020 after COVID shut down many companies and opened doors for others. Since her banking days came to a halt, she had time on her hands and wanted to help others. Her husband placed an ad on a Spanish radio station advertising her availability to help Latino-owned businesses apply for the small business grants the government put out to help stabilize the economy during the pandemic. “When I started working with these small businesses, I realized they didn’t have accounting in place. They didn’t have compliance policies.” The owners were so focused on the daily operations, the back office took a back seat. She saw an opportunity to infuse those businesses with the administrative tools she’d learned during her career in financial services.  

She designed her company to be a business incubator providing various development and investment services in the commerce, construction, finance, and real estate industries. “It’s important to know your vision; know where you want to go; know what’s working and when you have to make changes.” She understands it’s a challenge to create systems, processes, and procedures while trying to manage a team and provide services and products. When your dominant language isn’t English, and you’re not native to the US business world, it can be even more intimidating. Reyes saw it in her mother who dreamt of opening a restaurant for decades before making it a reality. She wanted to change that for others like her.

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Her company’s focus is not only on getting businesses off the ground; her vision extends to helping Latinos create channels of passive income so they can enjoy life more and work less. “Once they have their business systems aligned, they can focus on growing wealth.” Latina-owned businesses have the potential to be a major engine for wealth creation in Iowa.  Reyes believes that with the targeted services she provides, they can overcome obstacles and challenges to achieve long-term financial stability that can be passed down to the next generation. 

Being the hub of innovation comes with a lot of sacrifice. “Every day I get to be part of people’s dreams. But it can feel lonely starting a business. I have to dedicate so much time that my family became used to me missing out on birthdays and celebrations because I have to work.” At times, Reyes worked through the day and into the morning. “I’ve watched the sun rise from my office,” she says of her many hours building her business. Reyes isn’t a stranger to chasing goals and crushing them. Before opening Inmobiliaria, Inc, she founded Dream IOWA while studying sociology at UNI. She implemented their annual conference, raised money, and advocated for DACA recipients across Iowa. She started a movement that still impacts youth, so it’s not a surprise that she saw a need and used her talents to fill it. “It’s so incredible to see the growth in our community. I grew up not seeing any bankers, police officers, or business owners with brown skin. I’m privileged to be part of that change.” In a perfect world, Reyes would love to see Latina entrepreneurs come together to support one another as people, sharing tips for how to balance life and work; referring each other across industries; helping each other grow.

She has plans to expand her business and in March she opened a tax services office in Marshalltown while planning an additional full-service office set to have a grand opening in June. “We’re going to have music, a bounce house, food.” Married to a musician, Reyes is no stranger to a good party. “It’s like a thank you to our clients and community for their support. We want to celebrate all we’ve been able to achieve because of them.” 

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When it comes to embracing the entrepreneurial ride, she hopes more Latinas chase their dreams. “Go for it,” she encourages anyone thinking about opening a business. “There’s no perfect moment to start. The most important thing is to keep going and have grace with yourself. As Latinas we’re overachievers but progress is progress, no matter how small.”

JEFAS Magazine is a collaboration of writers, photographers, social media managers, editors, translators, and designers from across Illinois, Iowa and the Midwest – all of whom are Latinx. It is the first magazine created by the Latinx community, for the Latinx community that focuses on how they are boosting the economy, giving back, and filling the gap between what is needed and what is available in the state. 

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To see the locations where you can find the magazine visit @JEFASMagazine on Instagram and TikTok

You can find the digital magazine here:

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https://holaamericanews.com/jefas-latinas-in-business-magazine-may-2024/

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