Ante Afahame was simply 9 years previous when he first realized he needed to launch a profession in entrepreneurship. The Nigerian American data know-how skilled is the co-founder of Arlington, Virginia-based HPMA Options, a tech startup that helps corporations modernize their IT companies.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Afahame didn’t transfer to the U.S. till he was 19. Rising up in Lagos, Afahame stated he was uncovered to a culture-rich atmosphere at dwelling and at college as a result of he was surrounded by a group of greater than 250 dialects and sub-cultures.
Being round a lot variety and taking that leap to maneuver to the U.S. gave Afahame the boldness to chase his desires he didn’t know he had.
“I might say I used to be raised as an entrepreneur,” Afahame stated in an e-mail interview with Lifewire. “I say this as a result of Nigerians are entrepreneurial by nature, and like most international locations within the growing worlds, entrepreneurship is born out of necessity.”
Afahame’s mother and father instilled a self-sufficient and hard-working mindset in him and his siblings at a younger age. He and his twin sister, Atim, had been the first-born of 5 siblings, which got here with a complete totally different set of obligations in itself.
“My complete life, I’ve been raised to look out for the pursuits of these I used to be liable for, and that outlook performs an enormous position in my relationships thus far,” he stated. “I inadvertently discover myself assuming a task of a mentor, particularly once I sense a scarcity thereof, and this is likely one of the many qualities I feel an entrepreneur ought to have.”
Fast Information About Ante Afahame
Title: Ante Afahame
From: “A local of Akwa-Ibom state within the south-eastern area of Nigeria nonetheless, I grew up on the west coast of Nigeria, in Lagos State–Nigeria’s largest melting pot.”
Key quote or motto he lives by: “I as soon as heard Steve Harvey say one thing like ‘when a door closes on me, I simply stroll down the corridor; there are at all times different doorways.’ That assertion describes me greater than I can clarify.”
From Inspiration to Actuality
It was Afahame’s father who first impressed him to develop into an entrepreneur after he registered his first enterprise and named it Antefre, a mix of Afahame’s first title and his brother’s.
“I used to be sufficiently old to know that proudly owning your individual firm was an enormous deal, and it made me very proud to have it named after me, I felt very liked,” Afahame stated.
Equally, Afahame and his co-founders pulled from that inspiration, as effectively, to call their firm. HPMA, which has been in enterprise since 2018, derives its title from the final names of the 4 founders.
Afahame and his co-founders have greater than 30 years of enterprise IT expertise mixed, and determined to launch HPMA as a result of they needed to “construct one thing that will stand the check of time,” because the IT companies market continues to evolve.
“Companies of all sizes battle to maintain up with the consistently altering know-how panorama,” Afahame stated. “We assist our purchasers develop into extra accessible, environment friendly, and efficient by modernizing functions, platforms, processes, personnel, and software program options to maintain them forward of the curve.”
“Identical to most Nigerian entrepreneurs turned one out of necessity, I strongly imagine an entrepreneur’s accountability is to assist reduce that necessity by offering alternatives.”
Exterior of the 4 founding members, HPMA primarily works with trade companions. Afahame stated that the corporate’s success is closely depending on the collaboration of skilled, resourceful, and revolutionary minds to resolve issues that aren’t at all times simple.
HPMA is self-financed, in addition to an preliminary funding to get the startup on its ft, Afahame stated HPMA hasn’t secured any enterprise capital and it doesn’t appear too centered on that. However after struggling to remain afloat when the pandemic hit final 12 months, HPMA took a step again, centered on constructing higher relationships with its current purchasers and all of it paid off ultimately.
“Over 80% of our new initiatives in 2020 got here from current accounts, and it led us to doubling our pre-COVID-19 income targets for 2020,” Afahame stated. “So sure, 2020 began out tough for HPMA Options, however we’re very grateful for our success regardless of the pandemic.”
Creating Alternatives For Everybody
Whereas juggling his obligations at HPMA, Afahame additionally has one other full-time gig as a nightclub bartender in Washington, D.C. He’s maintained two jobs for over a decade now to remain busy and earn extra for his household, he shared. One factor that has helped him put on a number of hats is the assist of his co-founders.
“One of many advantages of working an organization with companions you belief and work effectively with is that shared obligations can assist hold you from changing into overwhelmed,” he stated.
And whereas Afahame is a minority enterprise proprietor himself, he stated he hasn’t confronted many challenges at this level with rising his enterprise, particularly since HPMA is ready to fund itself.
One factor he stated has helped develop HPMA is its reliance on earlier enterprise relationships and constructing a referral pool. He additionally stated the corporate has made an additional effort to accomplice as an integrator with main know-how corporations like Microsoft, Axis Communications, Synology, and these partnerships created alternatives that created a domino impact of much more.
“The unintentional, but constructive impact of this method is that we began out having acquaintances suggest HPMA based mostly on previous performances, then the standard of our work paved the way in which for future alternatives,” Afahame stated.
Despite the fact that Afahame naturally fell into entrepreneurship, he desires to make it possible for he isn’t simply working for himself, but additionally offering alternatives for others.
“Identical to most Nigerian entrepreneurs turned one out of necessity, I strongly imagine an entrepreneur’s accountability is to assist reduce that necessity by offering alternatives,” he stated.
Creating alternatives is on the middle of all of Afahame’s work, and can proceed to be as he furthers his entrepreneurial profession.