Parsons’ focus is on the city’s downtown community

Thu, Nov 10, 2011

One on One

From the time 35-year-old Hannah Parsons was old enough to talk about what she wanted to be when she grew up, she knew she wanted to be her own boss.

Parsons has an MBA in entrepreneurship and works as a real estate agent with Pikes Peak Urban Living at Selley Group Real Estate. She focuses on the downtown area in her business and in her personal life. She loves living downtown in an old house and has a community garden in her backyard. She was recently appointed to the Colorado Springs Downtown Business Improvement District Board and is opening a co-working facility on Tejon Street.

Tell us about your background in entrepreneurship.

I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I believe my first official business as a child was going door to door painting house numbers on curbs. Writing business plans is like a hobby to me and I love helping people accomplish their business goals. My husband and I own a residential construction business as well as our real estate business.

What is your vision for the new EPI co-working facility you’re opening downtown?

The vision for the co-working facility began over three years ago when my husband and I were both running our businesses from our home. I researched the idea and discovered that co-working communities were popping up all over the world. The objective is to provide a place where entrepreneurs, independents, creatives or teleworkers can get out of their homes and out of coffee shops to work together in a professional, collaborative space. We hope to provide the physical space and environment where people can successfully launch and grow their businesses. We also want to serve as a physical location for connecting people and ideas in Colorado Springs

What is your relationship with downtown and the many organizations devoted to improving it?

I have lived downtown since moving to Colorado Springs seven years ago. We believe it is a wonderful place to raise our family and build our businesses. I was recently appointed to The Greater Downtown Colorado Springs Business Improvement District Board on which I will serve a three-year term. It is my goal to help identify ways to attract and retain young professionals and their businesses to downtown.

As someone with an MBA in entrepreneurship, tell us about what being self-employed means to you and why entrepreneurship is important.

Self-employment is truly a necessity for me because I am highly entrepreneurial. I did not function well as an employee in a traditional corporate setting. However, I don’t believe all entrepreneurs must be self-employed. We tend to go that route because most companies don’t know exactly what to do with entrepreneurs. I believe the most successful companies are the ones that seek to hire entrepreneurs and create work environments conducive to their success. It is essential for companies in Colorado Springs to embrace this concept if we as a community are going to attract and retain talented young professionals.

Entrepreneurship is important because it is the key to job creation. We as a community work really hard to attract existing businesses to Colorado Springs. It is my hope that we will become a community who is equally invested in launching new ventures as well.

What unique opportunities and challenges do young professionals face in Colorado Springs?

Young professionals in Colorado Springs face an abundance of opportunities. We live in a beautiful community with low taxes and an abundance of resources including business mentors. But we lack interesting jobs in interesting industries. Young people like our city but we aren’t offering compelling career choices. Fortunately, this is a great place to start a business. The challenge for our young professionals is to take this opportunity to create the jobs they want. They will need to overcome fear of failure and take the necessary risks to start great businesses. We as a community need to create an environment that encourages and rewards entrepreneurial behavior. I think this is an exciting time for Colorado Springs and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Gordon Says:

    Your vigor of vision and your understanding of this next generation’s culture will certainly prove very valuable in the economic development of Colorado Springs.