Gulsum Rustemoglu, GEPermit

Gulsum Rustemoglu,
Global Environmental Permitting

Thanks to Accion San Diego for this success story.

Gulsum Rustemoglu, founder of GEPermit

After losing her job as an environmental consultant for a large environmental planning firm, Gulsum Rustemoglu decided to become her own boss and founded Global Environmental Permitting (GEPermit) in July 2009.

GEPermit is a woman-owned micro business specializing in environmental permitting and compliance throughout the U.S.  New development projects must secure certain permits in order to ensure that all environmental protection laws are being followed. Laws vary from state-to-state and are often very complicated and confusing. GEPermit helps developers, governments, and communities work together to create new development projects that make a limited environmental impact.

Gulsum began GEPermit from her home office and experienced early success, but felt that capital limitations were preventing the company’s growth. Not being able to secure financing through traditional means, she received a $15,000 microloan from ACCION San Diego that enabled her to move from a home office to a space in Murphy Canyon, and to add seven part-time employees and interns to her staff.

“The biggest challenge of being a business owner is that I am responsible for all aspects of the business,” Gulsum shared with Accion.  Before receiving her microloan, Gulsum not only had to fulfill client requests, but also had to manage all accounting, taxes, and marketing for the business. Hiring additional staff has given GEPermit the margin they need to creatively expand their business, and freed Gulsum to pursue personal interests including a planned half-marathon across the Bosphorus Bridge in her hometown of Istanbul.

On a related note, help other entrepreneurs like Gulsum who lost their corporate job and want to create their own job and be their own boss – sign CAMEO’s Be Your Own Boss petition today!