Name: Alessandra Desiderio
Business: The Bridge Effect
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Industry: Children’s Goods & Services
Reason for starting? As a single mother, I experienced the choice between working to pay childcare costs and staying home with very little income. I chose to work, and brought my children to work with me for 9 months until I could afford to pay a child care center. I am passionate about creating a world where every parent who wants to work, can work, and do so by using community driven solutions. The Bridge Effect is the program that I never had as a parent when I needed help with childcare needs.
How do you define success? Success to me is creating leaders who make a difference in their community and are powered by their passion and drive to help others, and to make the world a better place. I think to some degree there is a financial component when considering how to value success, because with financial power comes the ability to expand. When driven by a social cause, like we are at The Bridge Effect, our financial power allows us to contribute to more families, create the ability for more parents to work, and support more communities. When people are out advocating, when you have true followers – the ones who will share with their families and friends about what you’re up to, when people truly believe in who you and your organization are – there is not just one aspect that defines a success. It’s a culmination of purpose, satisfaction, and market support.
Biggest success: Our biggest success to date is creating a strong team of people who are so devoted to our mission that they donate, speak about and work for our organization tirelessly. We have people who have taken on this program as if they were the single parent it was helping. By far, there is no greater accomplishment than having people who want to help others on your team – but it’s even more impactful to see them create new ways to expand our mission.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Our top challenge right now is development costs. We have applied for loans, and are pitching to investors, applying for accelerators, and tapping our family and friends for introductions. We are looking for seed capital, and it’s a competition with every other startup in the country. We have great developers who use their own investment to purchase what we need for development, and our CTO has taken on creative ways to develop our site. As a single parent I have survived cancer, homelessness, and domestic violence…not just survived, but thrived. In each circumstance I got to be someone who kept moving forward. In my business I am able to stay positive and focused on the future instead of dwelling on negatives or being stopped by what’s wrong or not happening the way I want it to.
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Who is your most important role model? My mother. She is an educator, community leader, teacher, coach, and tall oak. She provides people with a constant positivity even when hope seems to be lost. She takes on being a figure for the children in her community and has made an impact in families across the state. She always says yes and does what she says she is going to do.
Edited by The Story Exchange