Today I am a business woman and entrepreneur and I wear many ‘hats’
Experiencing racist remarks from a very early age, and being told that she would never be successful, Mavis Amankwah has had to overcome a lot of difficulties along her life’s journey. Being discriminated against in many different situations has never stopped her though – or held her back. Instead, her determination to rise above such challenges has helped her to pursue her dreams and to become a successful woman who now helps to support others in need. In her teenage years she acquired her first job which provided her with the enough knowledge to master many years of tough work. Mavis then used this knowledge to set herself an important goal – to contribute to society as well as encouraging and empowering others who might not be as purposeful as herself. In the following exclusive interview Mavis reveals an insight into her life story and reveals why giving up is never an option.
How has your childhood and upbringing impacted your success today?
I faced a lot of adversity as a child and it actually made me stronger, bolder and wiser. I was even more determined to face the world after experiencing what I had been through. From the age of ten I looked after my two younger brothers every day in order to help my mum and then at the age of twelve I started working on a market stall earning my own money and helping others. Today I am a business woman and entrepreneur and I wear many ‘hats’. My dream is to continue to make a contribution to society and to fulfill my God-given purpose to help others through my business, social and personal life in whatever shape or form I can – from making a small difference to inspiring, encouraging and motivating others! I am also delighted to have won many awards and have been recognised for my achievements and challenges.
You started working at a very young age. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout the years?
Working from the age of twelve got me prepared to face the world and ultimately led me into entrepreneurship. I also learned early that I should never give up. This experience enabled me to work in different industries and sectors which has shaped me into becoming who I am today.
Is there any moment or memory from your adolescence that still resonates with you today?
Yes definitely. A teacher once told me that I would never amount to anything and that criticism really hit me hard.
Where does your aspiration to help others to succeed originally stem from?
It stems from my own internal passion and hearing great testimonies from people saying that I have changed their lives for the better.
Have you encountered any bad experiences or prejudices on your career journey? If so, how did you deal with them? And how did they impact you?
Yes – many! Growing up in the 1970s as a black African child meant I was faced with a lot of racism. I would love to say that it didn’t continue into my adulthood but sadly it did. Whilst working as an ICT manager I faced a lot of racism from my director. She eventually apologised sincerely for her attitude – but not until I was leaving that job.
What would your advice for struggling young women be?
Always be the best you can be and don’t give up. Determination and perseverance is the key to success.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement – and why?
I think it’s being able to overcome all sorts of adversity in my childhood which led me to becoming who I am today. If someone had told a ten-year-old-me that I would go on to achieve all that I have achieved I would not have believed it.
Who do you consider to be your role model?
I have many role models and they are mostly people in business as well as unsung heroes like ‘Yaa Asantewaa’, the Queen of the Kingdom of Ashanti/Ghana http://nanayaaasantewaa.de/who-is-nana-yaa-asantewaa/
You emphasise the importance of building relationships with your clients based on trust. Where did this importance placed on trust come from? And how does it influence your relationships?
It comes from my love of helping people because trust goes hand-in-hand with that. It influences my relationships because there is that loyalty there which is key to my business.
Rich Visions helps businesses and organizations communicate and market to diverse, niche, and ethnic audiences across the UK. Why is it important to help extend their reach to these audiences?
The power of the brown pound is HUGE. It’s very important that Corporations have strong links with the ethnic community. Rich Visions bridges that gap.
Are there any obstacles to reaching these communities? If so, what are they?
For me, the three main obstacles are language, culture and religion.
Has being a coloured woman influenced your career in any way?
Yes and no. I never let my colour be a barrier to what I can be – if a black president is ruling the USA then it shows me that anything is possible.