Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nega Debela, Owner of Dr. Nega's Educational Center, located in Whitehall, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our mission is to promote the intellectual growth of children in general and the economically disadvantaged students, English Language Learners (ELLs), and new migrants, in particular. Our focus will be the teaching of math, language arts, and reading.
Tell us about yourself
I came from illiterate parents who couldn't read or write in any language. Nonetheless, I have managed to earn five degrees, including a Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide, Australia, an M.Ed. from the University Leeds, United Kingdom a Master of Science from Marshall University, USA and two undergraduate degrees from Ethiopia.
I give full credit to my brother, who tutored me at an early age in my life, for my academic success. I also strongly believe that children from low socioeconomic status need consistent tutoring support and academic scaffolding to successfully navigate the academic landscape.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is to see children from disadvantaged families succeed in standardized tests in math and language arts and score above 95 percentiles, as seen in the following two videos witnessed by the students.
Besides, we have been able to buy a business property to resume our tutoring activities within three years of our business life.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a business owner creating one's own business brand and promoting the business to a broader market has been the hardest problem in my business experience, although I have an undergraduate degree in accounting and had done a course in marketing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Starting, running, and growing a business is a big task. It requires commitment, flexibility, and creativity to succeed. A business owner has to work diligently and be committed to the success of the business. Business is not a straight-line journey. There might be several winding roads that require flexibility.
Listening to the needs of the customers and revamping one's activities is essential to keep the business afloat. Finding new ways and applying one's creativity also play a significant role in making the business competitive in the market.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
COVID-19 has played a huge impact on the trajectory of our business. We have lost a large number of our clients due to the pandemic. On the flip side, we have been able to start virtual tutoring and be able to get new students worldwide as far as Australia, Europe, and Africa, although the number is small.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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