HURST ( – Dina Lima gently prods her two daughters, eight and ten years old, away from their studies and towards the kitchen downstairs.

“Come on,” Lima said. “Let’s go.”

Dina Lima is at her office. Her daytime desk has a computer on it. Around the desk are books, two desks with computers for her girls’ class work, and maps and posters on the wall like you might see in any school. Lima’s job lets her work at home and home school her children. It wasn’t always like this. In her previous job with a home builder, she’d run her health into the ground and left her kids begging for her time.

“I kept busy all the time, being on the phone forever, morning and night just running the business,” Lima said. “That’s when the wakeup call came.”

Lima would start her own business. Her inspiration?

“I read a story one time of a homeowner who was wanting to tap into other homeowners who had built a green home and were wanting to get ideas, what worked what didn’t work,” Lima explained.

Lima started a clearing house for “green” construction. Lima researched contractors, materials and educational materials. She’d stumbled into one of the healthiest small-business areas in this weak economy.

Lima’s website:

“There’s a growing number of people who want to live a sustainable, green lifestyles,” said Tom Pryor of the North Texas Small Business Development Center Network.

Pryor’s office coaches people starting small businesses. He says even in a slow economy, not only can green businesses make it, they can charge more doing it. There are plenty of janitors, for instance:   “But if you learn what it means to be a green janitorial service, you’ve now carved out a niche,” Pryor said. “There people who want to do business with a janitor service that understands they’re going to use organic materials. They’re going to use recycled paper products.  And they will likely pay a little more for the service.”

Now, Lima — and her daughters — are cashing in on green’s growing niche in the marketplace.

The taxpayer-funded North Texas Small Business Development Center Network is hosting a Green Jobs Summit to access business and resources and find opportunities in the Green marketplace January 6 at the University of Texas Arlington. Find out more at

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