Building a resilient future.

In the face of economic uncertainty and racial reckoning, DreamSpring continued to grow in 2021 to meet the unprecedented need for small business support. With our unrelenting belief in the power of entrepreneurship and the life-changing impact of access to capital, we stood together with small business owners to propel their growth.

The year was our most impactful to-date, and we are grateful to the clients who inspire us and the allies who join us in our work to build a resilient future.


Rhoda Johnson, Rhoda Design Group

As one of six children raised by a single mother, Rhoda Johnson was an artistic kid with big dreams. She struck inspiration gold when her family relocated to Colorado during her teenage years. “I saw educated, elegantly dressed women involved in giving back to the community,” she says. “That’s when it sparked the desire — this is what I wanted to do.” 

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Dr. Janiece Mackey Ph.D., Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA)

As a student in the Colorado public school system, Dr. Janiece Mackey often felt like she was slipping through the cracks. During her undergraduate through doctoral studies in higher education, she discovered that the same academic barriers she encountered as a student were systematically impacting generations of local Black youth. “I was seeing the same cycle over and over again, so I decided to create an organization."

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James Junes, James Junes Productions

Driven by faith, James Junes is fiercely committed to converting his personal tragedies into entrepreneurial triumphs. His lifelong journey to overcome child abuse, cancer, and addiction affirmed his convictions and rooted belief that laughter holds the power to heal. 

Pulling from his Diné and Hopi heritage, life as a father and husband, and testimony as a survivor, James shares his story through comedy, motivational speaking, and acting. For more than two decades, James has used his lived experience to inspire others, and he isn’t shy about highlighting the bumps along the way. 

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Misti Bernard, Sea Song Designs

Misti Bernard started Sea Song Designs with little more than a roll of copper wire, a handful of beads, and the dream of working for herself. After decades of managing other people’s small businesses, she decided to wield her artistic and administrative skills on her own behalf and pursue her passion for design. 

Misti took her first step toward that dream as a guest jeweler at a Renaissance festival, where Sea Song Designs was born.

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Hector Rodriguez, Topline Commercial Services

For Hector Rodriguez, it all started with a squeaky shopping cart wheel. Hector had unexpectedly found himself without a job after a decade in corporate management. Although the uncertainty was unsettling at first, Hector knew, like his father before him, that his ingenuity and handiness would pay off. After a close friend hired him to repair shopping cart fleets, Hector’s “entrepreneurial spirit” took over. 

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