NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — She’s not even 30, but a small business owner is leading dozens of employees during the pandemic.
CBS2’s Dave Carlin introduces us to a young entrepreneur who’s making history.READ MORE: Black History Is Our History: 14-Year-Old Art Sensation Tyler Gordon Says He Dreams Of Inspiring Others
At 28 years old, Cori Gordon is CEO of Cortoyou — her own delivery business.
Gordon and her more than 50 employees are in the pressure-filled race to get packages for Amazon from the Staten Island fulfilment center to destinations in Brooklyn.
“We are an independent company that has been contracted by Amazon to offer this service. So we deliver on their behalf to customers,” she told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
Drive has dominated her life. Born and raised on the island of Jamaica, she is the eldest of nine kids. After graduating from Northern Caribbean University and moving to Brooklyn in 2013, jobs in retail sales and automotive operations had her longing to work for herself.
Her big break was a program at Amazon that gives aspiring entrepreneurs tools for starting up companies to handle last mile deliveries. Of about 1,300 delivery service partners, she is the youngest and she does it her way.
“I only show up as my authentic self, I know nothing else,” Gordon said. “There’s not a separation between the Jamaican inside of myself and the professional Cori you see today. I am all of that altogether, and it’s what makes me as successful as I am, I believe.”READ MORE: Black History Is Our History: Black Business Owners Hope Their Example Inspires Other African Americans To Become Entrepreneurs
She has accomplished so much before the age of 30, you would think she might slow down a little to enjoy it, but quite the opposite.
“There are other things I’m going to do that are unrelated to my current company,” she said.
She sings, plays guitar, and her future has more building, hiring and inspiring.
“She’s closer to my age, so you can relate to her on many levels,” said lead driver Melissa Velasquez.
“For sure, Cori is young, but that hasn’t limited her trajectory at all. She’s motivated, she has proven results and success as a leader and CEO of her own company,” Amazon spokesperson Emily Hawkins said. “We’re honored to partner with her.”
She says to be like her, be fearless, stay true to yourself and keep it moving.
“Just start. You’ll never feel 100% prepared for anything in life, because there are so many unknowns,” she said. “So just do it.”MORE NEWS: Jeff Bezos To Step Down As Amazon's CEO
Amazon recently announced new diversity grants to create similar startups. Click here for more information on how you can apply.