Kimberly Moore, Founder & President of KDM Engineering, PLLC
Women-Owned Business Finalist
To better highlight the impressive members of the small business community, we sat down with the 2019 Dream Big Award finalists to learn more about their startup stories, the challenges they have faced, and what the future of business looks like to them. We chatted with Kimberly Moore, founder and president of Chicago-based KDM Engineering, an engineering firm with a wide range of clients and services. Here is what she had to say (what follows has been lightly edited for length and clarity):
Q: What inspired the creation of your business? What problem does it help to solve?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. After my last position at my previous company, I decided that I could do what these other firms were doing, but better. I knew what I wanted to see as an employee and what my overall goals were in life, which included helping others. As engineers, we develop solutions. We help build stronger communities by creating system upgrades for key infrastructure. But more importantly, my work in the area of philanthropy helps build bridges between youth and STEM, which is becoming increasingly important since there will be 3 million STEM jobs unfilled by 2021.
Q: What is the greatest challenge you faced while building your company and how did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge that I faced while building my company was lack of startup capital. We were not offered bank financing for the first five years. Fortunately, we were able to closely manage our spending, and when that wasn’t enough, we used the factoring of our receivables as a crutch to help meet our cash flow needs.
Q: At what moment did your business become a reality to you?
It became a reality when we secured our first main contract, and I had to go from working in the business to on the business. I had to find employees, computers, bigger office space… all these new expenses and all on a shoestring budget.
Q: What does American entrepreneurship mean to you?
From my perspective, American entrepreneurship means having the ability to directly create the change we wish to see in the world. It means being able to create a business that aligns with your personal values, as well as the values of others.
Q: What impact do you hope your business has on society as it grows?
As KDM continues to grow and bring new talent to the team, I hope that we can make an impact on society by not only creating jobs, but by creating jobs that employees are happy to have. This is an important part of our company culture and something we strive to achieve at every level of the organization. I also hope that as KDM further develops we can begin researching and providing energy solutions around the globe, as mentioned in our vision statement.
To learn more about the 2019 Dream Big Award finalists, click here.