& Revitalizing the Community
Davon Clark is the owner and operator of ADC Kid (A Davon Clark) company, and a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. We had a chance to sit down with him to ask about his experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.
(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur? Why did you choose your industry?
“My journey as an entrepreneur was unplanned. I started my career off as a substitute teacher in Camden, New Jersey for grade levels K-8th. After working for sometime there, I left and moved to California to pursue my Communications and Theatre background, which I originally went to school for. There I worked behind the scenes on Unsung a docu-series for TV One. I was a lead production assistant on several episodes- such as Denice Williams, The Sylvers, The Spinners and more. I contacted vendors for different video images, picked up talent for interviews, logged footage and much more. After living in LA for 2 years, I realized how much I loved interacting and reading books to children in the classroom. However, most of the children’s books that I read either had an educational or story theme, there were few which combined the two. This is when I started my entrepreneurial journey.”
“In my passion for wanting to create something for the children I moved back to New Jersey and after six months moved to New York and started working in the school system in the Bronx. I started writing my first book The Adventures of Prada Enchilada at lunchtime on notebook paper, I would write on the subway, and even at home. After fully completing my first children’s book, and living in New York for a year and a half, I decided to move back to New Jersey. Now it was time to start my journey on getting published. I reached out to my agent at the time to see if she could represent me as an author. However, she said no because they only represented clients for theatrical and print. My agent suggested I look for literacy representation. That is just what I did. I reached out to several agents and got denied, which led me to self publishing my books. I released my first book through Amazon’s self publishing platform called CreateSpace. From there, I started ADC Kid and decided to release the rest of the books through the company."
“Today while working in the education industry I split my time between TSS work in the Philadelphia School District with autistic children and running ADC Kid.”
“Schools invite ADC Kid to do interacting storytelling performances and through references I reach out to other schools. At this point in my entrepreneurial journey I still do my research, reach out to schools and organizations for new leads.”
(2) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?
“The program helped me with bookkeeping, accounting and credit skills. Prior to starting the program, ADC Kid was running 9-10 months before I found LAEDA. I wanted to get more insight on how to run a business affectively, which LAEDA and the program has helped me with tremendously.“
“My Ah-ha moment was when I learned more about credit and how to go about paying credit cards. I learned the process of how to keep up a good credit record and score. In addition, the LAEDA staff helped guide me on the path regarding developing a non-profit entity."
(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?
"My failure was when I got denied from the literacy agents, but I did not give up. I turned that failure into a success by going through Amazon and independently publishing my books. As for my challenge, right now I do have a for-profit business and I want to aim for developing a non-profit as well. However, in order for a non-profit I would have to start another business where the non-profit cannot be linked to the profit one. Thus, starts my new challenge of creating a non-profit."
(4) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?
“ADC Kid currently has published six children’s books; including one in Spanish. Developed an anthology book with incarcerated youth called Justice Restored; A Series of Writings and Poems from Incarcerated Youth, implemented Camden, NJ’s first Children’s Book Festival, brought about a library literacy program, Youth Empowerment Event and giving hot meals to the homeless during the holidays.”
“At this moment I have entered ADC Kid into FedEx’s Small Business Grant contest in hopes of obtaining a 25K grant. Voting for the grant starts now and closes April 5, 2017. If you would like to vote for ADC Kid visit http://smallbusinessgrant.fedex.com/Gallery/Detail/98059665-4031-4fd4-b8b9-d0b8f4edfd1a”
(5) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?
“Look at every failure as a success. When someone tells you no, just try to find a different way of doing it instead of giving up and failing. Don’t let the no stop you from what you want to do.”
Congratulations to Davon Clark for completing EDTP and recommitting to his journey on the path of entrepreneurship. The ADC Kid is a company that is a children’s educational media company that focuses in interactive literacy and basic math. For more information, check out Davon Clark’s website www.adckid.com
The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Winter Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com
Latin American Economic Development Association
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