Crain’s Chicago Business announced it’s 2020 list of Notable Entrepreneurs, including Dr. Margo Jacquot, founder, director and Chief Care Officer of The Juniper Center.
These 39 entrepreneurs represent a range of young companies, some supplying consumer products, others offering B2B services and others fulfilling community needs as nonprofits. They’ve faced and overcome similar obstacles—researching their market, developing technology and then raising capital, whether from friends and family, angel investors or venture-capital firms.
In this feature, you’ll meet entrepreneurs with products ranging from pet food to veggie snacks to men’s jeans. There are health care businesses that target specific conditions and offer online treatment. And there’s a range of imaginative B2B services in IT and software, real estate, insurance and digital marketing.
During the pandemic, these firms have pivoted, putting their offerings online, helping clients navigate the crisis or donating goods and services. They’re helping to put Chicago on the map as a growing center for entrepreneurship.
Dr. Margo Jacquot: Crain’s 2020 Notable Entrepreneurs
The Juniper Center provides expert, compassionate care by 40 clinicians in five Chicagoland locations and throughout the state of Illinois via teletherapy. The Juniper Center specializes in trauma recovery, depression and anxiety, diverse sexuality and gender identities, behavioral issues treatment, and relationship and family therapy. Founded by Dr. Margo Jacquot in 1996, The Juniper Center is one of the largest women-owned counseling and therapy practices in the area, and provides counseling and psychotherapy, psychiatry and medication management, therapeutic yoga and movement therapy, and psychological testing services for all ages.
Jacquot started as a sole-practitioner in 1996, slowly adding associates until 2015 when she did a business accelerator program, doubling the business. Jacquot applies brain science to help trauma survivors; is 100% LGTBQ affirming-inclusive and uses a collaborative team to address mental health comprehensively: talk-therapy, evidence-based practices, neurofeedback, mindfulness, more.
Recognized for Business Growth
The Juniper Center has achieved a 75% growth in annual revenue from 2015 to 2019. She credits participating in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program with jump starting that growth. Through the program she learned what to outsource to all focus on her core business, to be less risk averse, and to “spend money to make money,” aka how to strategically invest in and grow her business. In 2020 alone The Juniper Center has added 10 new clinicians, for a total of 40 clinicians at 5 physical locations, plus teletherapy statewide.
The company is 100% “bootstrapped,” says Jacquot. Jacquot built the company for more flexibility as she and her spouse were adopting two young children. She did not want to be encumbered by debt and used all of her own resources to launch and grow the business.
Business Agility and Focus on Community
As a business owner, Jacquot regularly responds to needs of people and communities she serves. That was tested in March when she moved her counseling/therapy practice from in person to 100% online in a few days. She launched a YouTube Channel and Facebook Live Show to help people sheltering at home. In April she offered free mental health crisis services for first responders and those facing COVID related illness and loss. Her free professional education events transitioned from live to virtual and consistently sell out at 100 spots. She added 7 clinicians in August, growing despite challenges.
Dr. Jacquot has received other prestigious awards over the year recognizing her business leadership: Women’s Presidents’ Organization Women 2 Watch (2019); Enterprising Women of the Year Awards (2018); Stevie GOLD Winner (2017); Women of Influence Chicago Business Journal (2016)
Subject Expert Resource: Mental Health and Creating a Mental Health Practice
Jacquot has long been a “go-to” resource for The Chicago Tribune, Windy City Times and other media for insights for LGBTQ parents and other mental health topics. She enjoys public speaking, giving talks on pronoun usage, bathroom laws and other tips to help business owners be more LGBTQ inclusive. Jacquot is proud of how she has built her business in a way that people feel they can bring their full selves to work–the average tenure of clinicians is 10+ years. She launched a Facebook Live show in July and has a podcast, Mental Health Business Mentor, coming in October.
Remembering her start-up experience fuels Jacquot’s commitment to mentor others about running a counseling business. She created a monthly education and networking program for professionals to earn Continuing Education (CEU’s) and hear powerful discussions with industry experts, all to help more clinicians fulfill their dream of creating a thriving practice. She is a member of the Barrington, Oak Park, Park Ridge and LGBT Chicago Chambers of Commerce; on the boards of Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation and Illinois Psychological Association; She is a member of American Psychological Association, Binge Eating Disorder Association, EMDR International Association, and Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.