Winner of 11 business and community awards, featured in 200+ media titles, named as one of the most influential people in PR 2009-2015

From Adversity to Prosperity: If I Can Do It, So Can You!

Posted on 20th August 13'

Boss Lady (Photo Credit: Elaine Bandele)

 

It’s often said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but when you’re trying to run a business (which you finally managed to set up after years of challenges) and the ship starts sinking, just how do you manage to keep afloat and rise above it all? Mavis Amankwah, an award-winning multiple business owner, is no stranger to the adversities in life and business and shares her personal journey.

 

Today, Mavis Amankwah is hailed as a PR guru, author, business ambassador and coach (least we mention being a mother and wife), but as with most success stories, the serial entrepreneur’s journey to business success has not been plain sailing. Mavis’ success can be attributed partly to her passion and vision, but mostly due to adversities she has faced. “I was born and raised in the heart of East London, in Canning Town where, back in the 70’s, it was extremely racist. As a young black girl, I received racial abuse on a daily basis from other kids my age” explains Mavis. “I was bullied, spat on and teased constantly because of the colour of my skin. It was tough but it made me stronger”. Even in school, Mavis recalls one of her teachers telling her that she would never amount to anything – having suffered other traumatic childhood issues, these words stayed with Mavis for years.

 

“Since then, I’ve always worked tirelessly to achieve my goals. No matter what obstacles or challenges I face” adds the business owner. Fast forward to her college years and Mavis, with a keen interest in information technology, studied to become an IT technician. Having stayed within her first role as an ICT manager at St Leonard’s Hospital for six years, Mavis joined internationally renowned make-up company, Sleek, in 2002. It was within this role that Mavis’ passion for business was ignited along with her personal passion of organising community events in her local community in her spare time. That same year Mavis co-founded Rich Visions Communications. The then aspiring business woman spotted a gap in the market where corporate and commercial organisations needed to tap into diverse and hard-to-reach audiences, but did not know how to engage with them. Rich Visions’ services bridged the gap by connect companies to new untapped and emerging markets in the UK.

 

Starting from humble beginnings in a cold church hall, employing just two members of staff, Mavis and her dedicated team worked long and unsociable hours (sometimes up to 16-hour days), including weekends. It took three years for the business to find its feet and start reaping the rewards Mavis and her dedicated team had worked so hard towards. Gradually, business started to pick up and Rich Visions was slowly becoming a recognised specialist communications agency. Then in 2007 disaster struck when Rich Visions’ new offices fell victim to a burglary where many irreplaceable items were lost. This did not deter Mavis who picked up from where she was left (albeit at a lesser advantage) and continued, business as usual. But the following year Rich Visions was spiraled into a downward financial hole during the period of the recession. Mavis recounts, “Businesses just didn’t have the budgets to spend and this had a big knock on affect for us. She adds, “I wasn’t sure whether or not we’d actually sustain ourselves through it, but, somehow, we did”.

 

Now in its eleventh year, Rich Visions is renowned as one of the leading communications agencies targeting niche and hard-to-reach audiences in the UK. The company is a multi-million pound agency that has worked and created bespoke campaigns for over 50 established commercial and corporate organizations, including ASDA, Comic Relief, HMRC, Metropolitan Police, HSBC, and MoneyGram. In 2011 Mavis and her team won one of the biggest campaigns in the UK – the Digital TV switchover where Rich Visions were commissioned to market and promote the switchover campaign to over 1.5 million niche audiences in the UK.

 

After realising that small businesses were not consistently promoting their businesses/brands, in 2009, Mavis launched another arm of the agency; Rich Visions Small Business which has helped over 300 enterprises expand via business development, marketing and PR.

 

In addition to running several enterprises, Mavis has developed the art of motivational speaking and has shared the stage at various conferences and expos with high profile dignitaries and celebrities such as Diane Abbott MP, Apprentice winner Tim Campbell, Reggae Reggae sauce business entrepreneur Levi Roots and CEO of the MOBO Awards Kanya King and last appeared as a keynote speaker at the prestigious Business 2012 event, alongside Stedman Graham (Oprah’s partner) Lord Alan Sugar and Sir Richard Branson in 02, London.

 

In an effort to empower others, Mavis holds regular seminars, workshops and mentoring programmes whereby she encourages and advises people from all walks of life to turn their passions into profits. In 2010 she formally established Diva Visions, an exclusive business club, which to date the club has over 100 loyal members.

 

In March this year, Mavis was appointed as Business Ambassador (on behalf of Positive Inclusions) for Start-Up Loans UK (headed by James Caan as Chairman, and supported by Prime Minister David Cameron) to act as Delivery Partners to will assist to provide effective loan support and mentoring to aspiring entrepreneurs applicants across England.  Recently, Mavis and her team announced that they had successfully assisted over 200 young entrepreneurs to embark on their businesses by delivering £1.5M via Start Up Loans UK.
Earlier this year, Mavis was listed in PR Week’s Power Book as one of the most influential people in PR, for the fifth consecutive year (2009-2013) and remains the only black woman in this definitive guide, among hundreds of other PR professionals and industry leaders. Over the years, Mavis has built a solid reputation as one of the most successful entrepreneurial PR professionals in the UK, winning not only contracts but several business-related accolades and currently employs over 16 staff members. “I can see that today I have made, and continue to make, an impact on aspiring business women, and the best reward is knowing that I have contributed to inspiring people to turn their passions into profits. If I can, so can you”.

 

 

Mavis Amankwah (in conjunction with Positive Inclusions and Rich Visions) will be holding a free business workshop specifically for 18 – 30 year olds on “How to Turn Your Passions Into Profits” on Saturday 14th September 2013 (10am – 4pm) at the  Rich Visions/Positive Inclusions Offices, 1st Floor, Towpath House, 3-11 Limehouse Court, Dod Street, Limehouse, London E14 7EQ

 

 

To register for the workshop, click here: https://monthlysaturdaysessions.eventbrite.co.uk/

 

 

 

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