Tired of the inefficiencies and grind of both the private and nonprofit sectors, Jonas Maceda felt ready to strike out on his own. “I wanted to gain financial freedom, set my own hours and my own expectations, and reward myself for all the hard work I’ve done in the last 21 years,” he reflects. From his decades of experience, he knew that he had a passion for working with special education students. He collaborated with his wife to start building their business, Dynamic Education Services, from their dining room table in January 2022. Jonas and his wife have been successfully working together for 22 years, and their complementary skills–his in education and operations and hers in accounting and human resources–make for an especially strong business partnership.
Dynamic Education Services works in the special education industry serving K-12 students, or ages 5-22, throughout California. For Jonas, the most rewarding part of this work is being able to connect special education students and their families with much-needed resources. He explains that, “with the pandemic, a lot of special needs students have struggled due to Online/Virtual education. It was the way to go safety-wise, but special needs students don’t thrive in an online environment. Many have regressed and got set back on their education.”
Dynamic Education Services is one of few companies that offers in-person, one-to-one sessions locally in students’ homes. “We provide these supplemental services to help students catch up and bridge the gap in learning loss for students,” Jonas says. Many of the families the company works with are monolingual Spanish-speaking households. Jonas takes special pride in his company’s emphasis on having bilingual staff members assist Spanish speaking parents and to coordinate services.
Working with the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (IESBDC), Jonas secured a loan from Accessity that enabled the business to transition from their home’s dining room table to an office setting. “That set a big foundation for us, and from there we grew rapidly in one year,” he says. Now, the business is on track to double its revenue and the population they work with. “We’ve grown from serving 200 students last year to close to 500 this year in a variety of services, including academics, vocational transition, occupational therapy, speech, and assessments,” Jonas explains. With this growth, Jonas began considering additional financing to support his business goals.
The IESBDC connected Jonas to Darius Mahajer, SVP – Senior Relationship Manager at Main Street Launch. Darius worked with Jonas to get Dynamic Education Services approved for a significant loan amount through the SBA’s Community Advantage loan. “I can’t thank Darius enough. He made the process smooth, really walked us all the way through it and helped us from start to finish. He took the time to get a good understanding of what we do, who we are, what we need overall,” Jonas reflects.
This loan provided the business with working capital to hire new employees and keep operations running while waiting for their accounts receivable to be fulfilled. “The loan allowed us to just continue with a nice steppingstone and enabled us to grow,” Jonas explains. Dynamic Education Services now has six full-time employees and one part-timer. The business serves hundreds of students across 15 California counties, including a contract with Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest school district in the state.