Terron Ferguson

"Dreaming big – A young US American talks about his entrepreneurial journey in Germany!"

Terron Ferguson moved to Germany in August, 2017 due to a fellowship from a German foundation. He decided to stay and pursue his dreams as an entrepreneur. 

The 32-years old grew up in Miami and always had the dream to become an entrepreneur. As a young boy he was looking for creative ways to generate money. He started mowing lawns and then came up with the idea of burning CD’s for his friends with all the songs that they wanted to hear.

“There is no other thing to do in the world. I can come up with an idea, execute it, implement it, manifest it and you will actually pay me for it? When you connect the dots and you live that (experience), there is no other path.”

Terron studied law and worked for a prestigious firm in New York. He always had his own ideas and tried to change processes and overall structures within the company. He realized soon that it was difficult to implement own ideas and create something by himself. He couldn’t see himself working for a company for the rest of his life. Hence, he quit his job and decided to see what he can build by himself.

Now he lives in Germany and tries to build a brand that offers products and services to the modern international millennium. The company called “YANCY” stands for Young and Fancy. Yancy is an online-platform that forms a community and allows real interactions. People can organize events and buy and sell creative products. His first products were Anthology books which dealt with diverse themes from the perspective from people stemming from different cultures. People from all around the world contributed with texts, drawings, poems and opinions.

One of the greatest difficulties he had in bringing his idea to life was convincing people that his idea will work and is promising. Everyone knows what a barbershop is, but his concept, because it is new, people fail to grasp the totality of it. He is challenged in communicating his business idea, because first people need to understand it and then believe in it in order to support it. Not speaking fluent German yet also quintuples the challenge to make it all crystal clear.

He also struggles with racism because of his black skin colour, but tries not to pay too much attention to it or victimize himself.  He describes it as not so much a violent racism though, he never had this in Germany, but rather a sort of soft racism, which is, despite how much he achieved people doubt him and question him more than 5 times just to be sure. His standard performance is generally higher than the normal and he needs to do it in order to prove himself, something that he calls “the black tax” which is an extra price paid due to race.

Working with a mentor is one of the key success factors he has in starting a business in Germany. The mentor took him under his wing and always shows him the way forward. He helped him establishing a business network and both manage to have a trustful and honest mentoring relationship.

“I am fortunate, but I can imagine that many people would quit along the way because of that (lack of support).”

His biggest deficiency at the moment is not having the necessary capital to hire people. He has to take the work from friends, lose deadlines, create debts with people next to him and end up overwhelmed without making such a substantial progress. Currently he is looking for ways to take an investor on board or get a loan. He is all-in his business idea and ready to take on some risk.

“I wish there was more like the free willing culture towards entrepreneurship that the USA has (…) Sometimes I get really frustrated with Germany because there is a specific process for everything people don’t deviate from it, sometimes I think that makes people lack creativity and ingenuity”

Still, Terron feels more at home in Germany than he felt in any other place that he had lived before. He is very convinced that his business will succeed and he will able to impact society and make a difference.

 

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This website is part of the project Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow — EMEN-UP (no. 764398) which has received funding from the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020)

The Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow

This website is part of the project Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow — EMEN-UP (no. 764398) which has received funding from the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020)

The Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow

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