Happy Monday, future moguls! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. I am so excited to be back with the Mogul in the Making entrepreneur spotlight. I took a brief hiatus, but I have a great line-up of uber-talented and inspiring entrepreneur interviews coming up in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back frequently so that you don't miss a beat!
To kick things off, this week's entrepreneur spotlight features Denika Turner-Stephens, founder of Runway 4 Peace, a community organization whose mission is to create and showcase positive initiatives in an effort to raise awareness for the Stop the Violence cause. Growing up in the city of Compton, Denika realized there were limited resources and activities available to inner city youth. As a teen, she dreamed of becoming a model, but was unable to find programs in her area to assist in fulfilling that dream. So, she made a promise to herself to do something about the huge void that desperately needed to be filled. In 2012, Denika started Runway 4 Peace as a way to give young girls the opportunity to experience life on the runway. Check out her story...
Name: Denika Turner-Stephens Location: Compton, CA Business Name: Runway 4 Peace Years In business: 3Are you full or part time business owner? Part Time Why did you start your business? Growing up in the City of Compton, there were not many activities for young girls to participate in. I wanted to model and that was a program that our community lacked. So I decided to provide those services. Unfortunately during the months spent puzzling my ideas, my niece was shot 3 times outside her home March of 2010 at the age of 10. To God be the Glory she survived. After experiencing something so tragic, I felt eager to raise awareness for the STOP THE VIOLENCE cause. Compton is known to be very violent and I wanted to change the mood by gathering the youth to create and showcase positivity, and also give young girls the opportunity to experience life on the runway. That's when I knew I had a passion with a purpose. What has been the most rewarding aspect of your business? I would have to say being my own boss and doing what I love. It's a joy seeing my vision come to life. What are your biggest challenges? I am afraid of rejection so networking is my biggest challenge. With me being young, not many people take my project seriously, therefore it creates this barrier that I am afraid to overcome. I came to the point, as if, I can do it on my own, but reality is, I NEED A TRUSTWORTHY TEAM.
What is the best business advice you’ve ever received? "If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough" -Steve Harvey "It doesn't have to be perfect to get started but you have to get started for it to be perfect" -Natalie Gouche Do you have a team, or are you a one man/woman show? Everyone thinks I'm a one woman show, however, I do run my ideas through my husband. Where do you see your biz in the next 5 years? I plan to have a modeling school for my W.E.R.K program which is a Women's Empowerment Runway Klass to provide free training. What advice would you give to other Moguls in the making? Understand that your purpose is for YOU. There will be hard times, and it will seem as if no one cares, but never give up. Remember your "WHY" for doing what you do!