Tell us about your journey! inspire someone
I'm Derrick S. Vormawor, 24, a business consultant, corporate trainer and serial entrepreneur. My journey has been a roller-coaster ride. But that's the reality of living a life that's beyond your normal. But in all I can boldly say, God has been faithful to me and my purpose. I run Platinum Africa Solutions Limited (a business consulting firm which helps businesses to strategize, organize and globalize in Africa); Kept Luxuries (an edgy-luxury brand made with authentic leather and shipping worldwide. We make products like wallets, cheque-book holder, etc.) and last I run - The USIS Reach Out (an NGO passionate about planting smiles and touching lives).
What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
Lol! I have answered this question 10 times already in the past few days. Well, for me it was a little different. I think entrepreneurship leaped into me. I lost my job at the time, when I was in the low moments and was stuck at that point in time, I found my purpose and my purpose led me into entrepreneurship. Probably if I had not lost my job at the time, I may not have ventured into entrepreneurship.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
My greatest challenge was getting noticed by clients. I didn't have any money to promote my company but what brought us here, is integrity. That has been our greatest and unique selling point for our clients. The way we do business marketed us. We did it consistently and that was the best investment I had ever made.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
In the beginning my parents were scared of how I was going to make ends meet for myself. But I felt so strong that I was going to make it someway somehow. So I kept going until my parents believed in what I have started. Today, they call my little empire, "Our family's business"! lol
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Integrity. Many people do not know but integrity has helped us rob shoulders with the big guys and the intriguing part about this is, this company started not along ago.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
That, one of the fastest ways to grow your business is through partnerships and building alliances.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
To all the young people out there. We are not too young to do great things. Being young is an opportunity to build and do amazing things. We are not meant to pull down our shorts and pull up our skirts. We can also earn a seat on the clean table and call the shots. Secondly, enough of dreaming big. What Africa needs is dream builders. We need positive results. We need more businesses to emerge. We need innovations and sustainable projects. Lastly, whatever it is that you are building now, ask yourself if it would still make sense 5 years from now. Lets meet at the very top.