Once Homeless, This Black Entrepreneur Now Owns a $20 Million Trucking Company

34-year old Amari Ruff had a rough start growing up. As a teenager, he had to balance studies and work to help his mother make ends meet while moving between homeless shelters. But now, he owns a multi-million dollar trucking company called Sudu that connects underserved entrepreneurs to giant companies such as Walmart and UPS.

 

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Humble beginnings

At the age of 16, his military father left his mother to raise him and his two siblings. They lived in homeless shelters, and Amari at one point, had to commute over four hours a day to continue attending high school while also working.

He eventually landed a job with a company where he negotiated significant enterprise contracts. He helped the business grow to annual revenues of $4.5 million, but was let go from a higher rank that he was promised. He said he didn’t expect it and it was really a low time in his life, but this inspired him to become a successful entrepreneur.

Starting at the bottom

Amari decided to started a telecommunications company in 2010 with just $300 and a 1990 Ford Ranger. However, before long, he managed to grow it to almost 200 trucks and to 5 U.S. locations. While at it, he also realized that there were bigger opportunities to create a tech company to connect underserved entrepreneurs (minorities, women, and veterans) with larger corporations. He then built his own business to fill the void.

In 2015, he launched Sudu, an online marketplace that leverages technology to connect small and medium-sized trucking companies (which make up 90% or the trucking market) to major corporations that ship goods. He chose the name Sudu, which is a Chinese word that means speed and tempo, because he says he believes it speaks well to the speed and efficiency they provide the industry through their technology which is considered as the “Uber” for truckers.

The recognition finally came

Because of his genius, Amari became in demand to speak at international tech and entrepreneurial conferences. He was invited to address the Nelson Mandela Fellows Panel and the Build Your Own Brand conference and retreat.

He also started winning major awards such as the 2016 NMTA Minority Business of the Year, the 2017 Georgia Trend Magazine Trendsetter, and the 2018 Atlanta Business Chronicle InnoVenture Award. He has even been included in the Venture Atlanta Top 10 Startups to Watch list.

 

SOURCE – blackbusiness.com

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About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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