Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lenora Billings-Harris, President and CEO of UbuntuGlobal, located in Greensboro, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
UbuntuGlobal is a full-service international DEI consulting and learning and development firm with a primary focus on helping organizations effectively leverage diversity, equity, and inclusion in a multicultural workplace and marketplace. Our expertise focuses on addressing the impact of DEI on organizational results by helping clients create and sustain an environment that attracts and retains top talent, values inclusive leadership, and enhances corporate involvement in the community.
Founded in 1986, UbuntuGlobal has been delivering diversity-related leadership development and guiding the implementation of organization-wide initiatives to assist client organizations in creating an inclusive and equitable work environment. The firm was founded by Lenora Billings-Harris after leaving the corporate and academic world, where she held leadership positions at two Fortune 100 companies and the business school of a major university. Consultants affiliated with UbuntuGlobal are located throughout the United States, South Africa, Singapore, Sweden, Australia, and the UK.
Tell us about yourself
I was fortunate to learn the Zulu proverb UBUNTU – I am because we are. We are because I am. This South African proverb describes the foundation of my philosophy regarding diversity and inclusion and belonging. I am motivated to help others understand that we are indeed connected.
Diversity, inclusion, respect, and fairness are concepts that make some people reluctant to discuss them. I work hard to create a safe, nonjudgmental, and uplifting environment that makes exploring sensitive topics a positive journey for all. Most importantly, our participants leave our sessions with the knowledge to activate easy-to-apply actions and a deeper understanding of the concepts discussed. All programs, processes, and resources reflect my belief that we are all more effective, productive, and innovative when we honor and value our own uniqueness while at the same time valuing and respecting the differences of others.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It is hard to isolate one thing because I have been in business since 1986. As a professional speaker, my biggest accomplishment was being inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame in 2018. As a consultant, I am most proud of my client list and the ways I have been able to support their success. A few highlights are my work in Israel through the US State Department and my work leading a leadership retreat on Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned) over three days with overnight stays there.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Letting go and delegating administrative tasks to others who can do things better than I can. Focusing my time where it is best suited.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
As for help often and early. There are many folks who want to see you succeed. Allow them to help.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Follow your dream while paying attention to finances and wealth development.
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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