Risk Taker. Mom. Exceptional Small Business Partner.


May 3, 2018  | News

Monica Gould wanted to be a “better mom,” when she first envisioned her consulting firm, Strategic Consulting Partners (SCP). As she was officially introduced as Eastern PA’s 2018 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year by the Small Business Association (SBA), her daughter Jasmine—SCP’s Chief Development Officer—was by her side.

This small business is an American dream success story. Monica Gould is a U.S. citizen, born in Darjeeling, India. Her parents chose to emigrate from India with their four children in 1964, and they worked hard to provide a better life for their family. After starting her own family and leading a successful corporate career, Monica launched a home-based business so she could be more available for her children. (She has since re-launched her business three times to get where she is today.) Her story is a tribute to those who make up America’s rich cultural heritage, strong women raised by dedicated parents, and the government’s support for business owners willing to take risks.

Pointing to the Rosie the Riveter sign hanging with other similar testaments of strong women, Monica says, “She is one of my inspirations!”

Her daughter Jasmine became “Employee Number 2” seven years ago after graduating from George Mason University in Global Affairs. Jasmine’s role as the Chief Development Officer is to grow their small business with the federal government. Working directly with the SBA and other agencies, she supports the intense contracting process required by all small businesses vying for federal and state contracts.

“The SBA not only helps us navigate the bidding process for large government contracts and backs those contracts, but our 8(a) [Business Development Program] certification means that the timeline to being awarded the contract can be weeks instead of months. That’s better for us, of course, and really great for our clients, who get the whole package: A certified, woman- and minority-owned small business with the SBA’s guarantee that we have the right resources to do the job.”

Hard Work and Persistence Pay Off

Among other family members, Ms. Gould’s husband, a self-employed real estate appraiser, and her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Azizkhan, attended the award ceremony. The Azizkhans emigrated from India to the U.S. in 1964 with their four children (Ms. Gould was the youngest at the time, now the “middle child” and one of six). Dr. Azizkhan was a surgeon in India, Board Certified in England. When he brought his family to the U.S., he had to start over.

“When I came to the United States in my late 30s, I had to return to school and become re-certified in medicine. Even after having studied in England for 10 years, I was required to take six college credits in English to graduate! What I found hardest, however, was earning the respect of American doctors. People were not always nice, despite my credentials and desire to contribute.”

Mrs. Azizkhan, who is of German descent, met and married her husband in Scotland while he was studying in England and she was a practicing nurse; she attributes much of her daughter’s hard work ethic to a firm upbringing.

“Our move to the United States wasn’t easy. My husband worked full time while he earned his medical credentials after we came here. I was raising four children who struggled to fit in, and there was no time for foolishness. We all worked hard to adapt and be successful.”

Mrs. Azizkhan feels Monica’s business success results from hard work, as well as her compassion and respect for others.

In addition to family, those in attendance included past and present business partners, the media, leaders from the Small Business Association, Project Share and the United Way.

Jennifer Tilden, SBA’s Lead Business Opportunity Specialist, works closely with Jasmine Gould and feels much of Strategic Consulting Partners’ success comes from how well the team works together.

“The really know each other, and that makes the business gel.”

Now numbered at 16 employees in three locations, Strategic Consulting Partners, a full-service management consulting firm, is perfectly positioned to help businesses achieve their goals and to succeed, just as SCP has.

Contact SCP today to find out how they can help you build organizational and leadership capacity. Please visit www.yourstrategicconsultant.com, or call Monica Gould at (717) 790-8723.

Rebecca Hollenbach, MAMFT, MSOD

Director of Operations

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