Name: Jovan Evans
Name of business: AquaFlow Products & Services Ltd.
Your job title: Product Developer
Age at which you started your business: 33
What do you think is the most important character trait in a successful entrepreneur?
Being resilient: thriving when the situation does not favour you.
Identify one hardship that you experienced while building your business and how you overcame that.
Introducing a product to the market that didn’t exist before is a challenging task, as people will not be able to even guess what the product does so easily without a demonstration. This reality was not so clear to me until I was almost broke. I got to the streets offering free delivery, demonstrations, a satisfaction guarantee, and a mobile point-of-sale machine. To do this, I would wake up around 5 a.m. and some evenings coming off the road after 9 p.m.
Describe one moment in which you felt immense pride in your accomplishment as entrepreneur.
My proudest moment would be the day I watched my product, Pump-N-Spray, on an American cable station as part of a news report describing the efforts of a collaboration with a US non-profit to offset the inconveniences of a water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, that left many families with no means of taking a shower. It was solid confirmation that my product was relevant, helped people and that I was not wasting my time.
How important were family/connections/relationships to your work’s success?
Surprisingly, family support was not significant pre-launch but eventually that turned around. Institutional and individual connections made a huge difference towards my success. While not all interactions were necessarily impactful, I was determined to make the best out of every opportunity. Let’s just say I have alot of persons to thank, especially my customers, who helped, and continue to help me, improve my product and introduce me to new opportunities.
What advice would you give to youth considering starting entrepreneurial ventures in Jamaica?
Go for it. The earlier you start, the better. Your business does not necessarily have to be novel for you to be successful, it merely has to satisfy a need that persons are willing to pay for. You should make an effort to be aware of all of the entrepreneurship-related institutions that are out there and what they have to offer. This will save you time and money.
For the picture: Why did you choose this pic and what does it say about you?
This event changed everything. It was the National Innovation Awards ceremony of 2014, held almost two years ago to the day. That day I was recognized with an Innovation Award for my work on the Pump-N-Spray portable shower. It was humbling, inspiring and motivating. At the time, I was not sure which entrepreneurial path to take, but on that day I made a decision to commit my efforts to enhancing the quality of people’s live by improving their access to water. And the rest is history.
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