Karen R. Jenkins President and CEO of KRJ Consulting, LLC

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Serving our clients allows us to fulfil our vision of  Helping People, Adding Value and Making a Difference in the lives of our clients and their staff.

This Story First appeared in WLM USA Magazine

WLM: KRJ Consulting  (KRJC) has delivered excellence in Government Contracting through your leadership.  Tell us about the company and services offered.

Karen R. Jenkins:  KRJC, founded in 2008 is a SBA certified 8(a), Woman-owned, small business.  We are based in Columbia, South Carolina with an office in the Washington, DC metro area.

We support the mission of government agencies by providing professional, administrative and IT facilities services.

We leverage our expertise to augment federal agencies’ ability to fulfill their mission, mitigate risk and achieve objectives.

WLM: Companies and Government Agencies seek KRJ Consulting to assist them with achieving greater efficiency and increased revenue.  Are you able to share more about organizational change.

Karen R. Jenkins:  Most businesses struggle with implementing organizational change. We help businesses develop employee confidence and capacity so they can effectively manage change and crisis. 

Our Integrated Workforce Solutions empower people to increase the organization’s productivity and efficiency resulting in increased revenue and decreased costs. 

WLM: Your performance a supplier to government has certainly validated your reputation as an expert. As you approach 8a graduation what are you plans for next phase of KRJC?

Karen R. Jenkins:  We have provided the Federal Government, local agencies and organizations professional, administrative and IT support services including HR consulting, educational services development and IT successfully for over 12  years. 

As we approach 8a program graduation we will continue to compete to serve the federal sector.  However, we plan to expand our offerings of professional, administrative and IT services to non-governmental entities as well. 

WLM: One of your most sought after, and quite timely, programs is the Crisis to Confidence: Leading through Uncertainty in Crisis. Tell us more about it and how organizations can access this service.

Karen R. Jenkins:  As our nation faced the impact that the COVID-19 crisis had on our clients, we were sought after to provide assistance and guidance in managing the challenges that they all faced.  As a result, we developed the Crisis to Confidence: Leading through Uncertainty in Crisis program to provide a step-by-step strategy to manage yourself, your team and your organization amidst the storm.  

Change and crisis is challenging and trying to manage your team during a crisis can feel overwhelming.  Go to CrisistoConfidence.com to access more information on how this program can assist you and your organization.

WLM: How did you get your start in consulting and training and consulting?  

Karen R. Jenkins:  After serving 23 years in the financial industry, I faced a lay off in March 2007.  I found myself seeking employment in the mortgage industry and was not finding much success in locating a comparable position.  I opened a mortgage brokerage firm in March 2007 which faced the economic challenges seen by the industry in 2008.  In 2008, I founded KRJ Consulting, to serve as a service provider for a local non-profit that wanted my mortgage background.  After working with this organization for several years, I decided to rebrand the company to do more of what I loved, consulting, training and development. 

I was able to leverage my 12 years in banking and 11 years of mortgage banking experience to create an offering to my clients.  We branched into the federal sector in 2013 to provide professional support services to the government.

WLM: You were recently recognized as the South Carolina Female Small Business Person of the Year during the Salute to Small Business. When did you know you were ready to be an entrepreneur?

Karen R. Jenkins:  I can’t say I knew I was ready to be an entrepreneur until I became one.  My plan was to continue working and eventually retire from the financial industry.  After being laid off in 2007, I found myself creating my own opportunities by opening my own business.  The blessing was I was able to leverage 23 years of experience to assist me in running a successful business.

WLM: What personal qualities have been key to your success in business?

Karen R. Jenkins: My experience as a mother, daughter and spouse of a military veterans, corporate executive and an adjunct professor have provided me with invaluable experience in working with people.  From managing a staff, guiding and mentoring students to serving my clients, the people side of the business is the most important to me.  

WLM: Your activities in your community extends to mentoring entrepreneurs?   How do you uniquely engage entrepreneurs?

Karen R. Jenkins: I enjoy helping people.  As I’ve grown my business the time that I use to have to meet one-on-one with new small businesses became limited.  Two years ago, I founded Eat.Learn.Grow a bi-monthly group coaching and mentoring program where I meet with small business owners over lunch.  They get to bring their list of questions and concerns and I provide answers and feedback on any issue they’d like to address.  I engage them on business growth and management topics while teaching a non-panic approach to entrepreneurial challenges.  Since the COVID-19 crisis we moved from a face-to-face lunch meeting to a virtual zoom call.  Their only investment is time. There is no financial investment requirement for them to participate. 

WLM: What advice would you offer women entrepreneurs who are new to business and leadership?

Karen R. Jenkins:  As I’m a life-long learner, my first advice includes continuous education.  This should be in a variety of formats, from reading books on entrepreneurship to attending conferences and workshops.  Surround yourself with like-minded entrepreneurs that can inspire and challenge you to be the best you can be.  Leverage resources such as the Small Business Administration and their local SCORE and Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) for on-gong support.  These agencies offer no cost support. 

Ms. Jenkins received her Bachelor of Science degree in business management from the University of South Carolina and completed South Carolina Bankers School before gaining her MBA from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. Staying consistent with her ideals for businesses to constantly grow and be empowered, she serves on several boards of directors and is a member of Women Presidents’ Organization, Vistage, and Million Women Mentor’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. Jenkins currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina. She can be reached by email at info@krjconsulting.com and visited on the web at www.krjconsulting.com.

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