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Jessica Lewis: The Trailblazing Entrepreneur Redefining Sustainable Development and Community Empowerment

Jessica Lewis: The Trailblazing Entrepreneur Redefining Sustainable Development and Community Empowerment
Photo Courtesy: Mobu Enterprise

By: Mia Riley

Hailing from the vibrant city of Philadelphia, Jessica Lewis has forged an inspiring path in the world of business, leveraging over two decades of experience across diverse sectors such as Real Estate, Management Consulting, and Project Management. As the visionary CEO and co-founder of Mobu Enterprises, she has not only revolutionized traditional housing by constructing disaster-resistant homes from shipping containers but also spearheaded the MOBU Foundation, dedicated to fostering green trades and entrepreneurship training. Join us as we delve into the extraordinary journey of Jessica Lewis, a true catalyst for change in both industry and community.

As a seasoned entrepreneur with extensive experience in various industries, how did you initially navigate the transition from Real Estate to Management Consulting and eventually into Project Management?  

Jessica: Transitioning between industries requires adaptability, continuous learning, and leveraging transferable skills. I knew that some of my past experiences can easily be used elsewhere so I did a skill inventory and identified skills that could be intersected. Moving from real estate to management consulting and then project management involved identifying transferable skills, continuous learning, networking, understanding my SME experience, and adapting to new ways of thinking and working. The common skill in all of these careers were people handling skills. Knowing how people think and behave never changes from sector to sector. If you know people you know projects, business operations,  and real estate. It allows for easier handling of these tasks and helps you to remain flexible in learning new skills.

Could you elaborate on the specific challenges you faced when establishing Mobu Enterprises, particularly in revolutionizing traditional housing with your innovative approach of constructing disaster-resistant homes from shipping containers?  

Jessica: Establishing Mobu Enterprises and revolutionizing traditional housing with shipping containers posed challenges such as market acceptance, no one understood it, so they rejected it.  In addition, Regulators did not adapt ordinances to reflect these green construction methods. In fact, because of this unwillingness to adopt, it led to stakeholders believing we were performing magic when in fact we are just using a different building material. An example is steel built structures being in the building codes. As a result, getting permitting at times was challenging. That changed over time and is no longer an issue. 

This also led to public perception and inconsistent views on financial viability from appraisers and insurers. This is no longer an issue as more counties adopt the usage of shipping containers in building codes. 

Supply chain management after Covid was an issue, but relationships were more important to build vendor connections that sustained business challenges. None of these are issues for us anymore. 

Your company, Mobu Enterprises, prides itself on efficient project management and process improvements. Could you share some key strategies or methodologies you’ve implemented to streamline development timelines and enhance customer satisfaction? 

Jessica: To streamline development timelines and enhance customer satisfaction, we implemented strategies like agile project management, collaborative planning, iterative prototyping, CI/CD, lean principles, customer feedback loops, and continuous improvement.  These strategies helped us keep a lean build process management system that works fluidly and without risk. This is our value proposition. This is what makes us special! 

As the CEO of Mobu Enterprises and co-founder of the MOBU Foundation, how do you balance the demands of running a successful business with your commitment to community empowerment and sustainable development?

Jessica: Balancing business demands with community empowerment and sustainable development involves integrating values, strategic alignment, collaborative partnerships, employee engagement, transparency, accountability, and continuous learning. Using these strategies help us stay connected with the community without losing ourselves in our business. It’s a selfless approach that has helped us grow our company. 

Given your diverse expertise and multifaceted approach to entrepreneurship, what advice would you offer aspiring business owners looking to make a meaningful impact in both their industries and communities? 

Jessica: For aspiring business owners, we suggest, defining purpose, thinking long-term, embracing innovation, collaborating, prioritizing diversity and inclusion, staying resilient, giving back, and measuring impact are crucial for making a meaningful impact in both industries and communities. Knowing that you are a “Considerate” company helps with stakeholder buy-in and gain monumental support from what you do from the community you serve. 

Where can people find out more about your company? 

Jessica: Please visitwww.shippingliving.com; @shippingliving on IG and FB. 

For interviews, please contact pr@aoagwllc.com

Published by: Aly Cinco

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