In honor of Scaling Up Philadelphia, our new program for growing profitable and sustainable black, brown and woman-owned companies, by providing them with the tools, resources and operating system they need to be successful, we’re highlighting each of the incredible members of our inaugural cohort of seven dedicated, hardworking and inspiring entrepreneurs.
Next up are Leon and Diamond Woolford. Leon is the CEO and founder of WC3. Formerly the head of application development with a multinational company, he went out on his own and began WC3 after being passed up for a promotion in 2007. Leon had worked nearly every job in IT and saw an opportunity to fully embrace his abilities by starting his own company. Despite many obstacles, Leon has persevered for the last 16 years and is now supported by his brother, Diamond, who serves as COO.
“The corporate world never really worked for me. And when I had the opportunity to work with my brother it felt like the right fit.”
Leon and Diamond shared that their most important goal in growing their company is to create a “viable, sustainable and recurring revenue business that spans multiple sectors.” Beyond that, Leon shared that they have lofty goals for the next 10 years. They would like to eventually grow to $100 million in revenue, which Leon acknowledges is aggressive but he’s determined to put in the work to get them there.
The pair are also passionate about providing opportunities within WC3 to people who may be overlooked elsewhere.
“It is important to us to hire within our community.”
“Not having a college degree should not hold people back from doing great things”, Leon says, “especially when they are eager and willing to put in the work. We’re also committed to hiring women and getting more women involved in technology, which still is a male dominated space.”
Leon and Diamond credit the Scaling Up Philadelphia Program with providing timely resources as well as helpful habits for running a successful business, and support to implement those best practices. “The organization of the different modules and the breakdown of the different topics has been invaluable, specifically the “Simple Numbers” approach from Greg Crabtree was instrumental for us,” he states. “Before this program, our financials and cash flow were something that we didn’t dig into enough. This program and approach allowed us to understand the numbers and how they can help us grow the business more profitably.”
“When you’re starting a business, you don’t realize all the things you need to do to run the business. It takes dedication and commitment and a willingness to learn, and get the information you need to be successful.”
Their best piece of advice for other entrepreneurs?
Both Leon and Diamond stressed the importance of utilizing your resources. Whether that is a program like Scaling Up Philadelphia, a mentor, or business books and articles, finding out more about what you are committing to and finding and putting in place the support to help to continue to succeed is critical. Starting a business hastily does not set you up for success.
“If you can find a program like this or a mentor before throwing yourself in the fire, before starting a business, do it. Use your resources beforehand. It will put you in a much better position to be successful.“