What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
It is such a privilege to wake up to work on what I’m passionate about every day. To have the freedom to create my own schedule, bring ideas to life, to be challenged and growing constantly.
What makes your business unique?
Amazi is what I like to call a mindful food company. Beyond our bold flavored, one-of-a-kind Jackfruit Chews and dried-never-fried Plantain Chips, we work directly with small businesses and farmers groups in Uganda to create more connected, inclusive supply chains. Many brands work toward ethical sourcing or Fair Trade, but few are able to support local economies and job creation by facilitating production and value addition at the source. We work hard to create more transparency and market access through our snacks.
How do you create great company culture?
We are a small team, but always work to keep our core values in mind. Quality, Connection, Transparency, Opportunity. I always come back to those whenever we’re making decisions about our growth – whether it be new investors, accounts, etc.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Something to the effect of stay in your lane! It’s SO easy to get caught up in what others are doing, or what others are telling you to do. I still struggle with this regularly as an early stage entrepreneur. There are so many ways to build business, and while it’s important to seek support or advice from experts and learn, no one is going to know what’s best for YOUR business.
What is the hardest lesson you ever learned?
Relates to the above! I’ve wasted a lot of time and missed opportunities because I was trying to take advice from too many people, instead of focusing on what I felt was our next step or the way forward.
What is an important trend you are watching?
Conscious consumerism and increased social expectations! I think this is so incredible and important to watch how consumers are demanding increasingly more transparency, and whether social missions ACTUALLY encourage purchases, or if it’s just a nice to have. I really try to see how other brands communicate their messages, and what seems to be resonating.
What advice would you give an entrepreneur starting out?
Stay persistent, and take it one step at a time. You will learn as you go, and it won’t all come at once. While I know it’s cliche, it really is a marathon, not a sprint.
What are the best things about the DMV ecosystem and how can we improve?
I love that the DMV ecosystem is so international and diverse! I do think that we’re a bit lacking in the food innovation and CPG space but I’ve been able to connect with some incredible impact-driven groups and brilliant tech minds. Lots to learn from other industries, and people are always willing to connect and network.