Nakia Whittaker-Woody is a 24+ year administrative professional. She is a Rock Star at work and loves her career. It wasn’t her first love but as a proud , she took on the challenge and rose to the occasion. She recently translated her passion into several businesses. She is a former Army brat currently living in Richmond, Virginia. She has always had a love of Art and Word Processing. She planned to be an Interior Designer, but life happened, and as a single parent, pivoted as needed, and that where she got a new love.
She became the Administrative Assistant to 3 Vice Presidents. That was where I was forged by fire and learned the most. The ability to multitask, have an even temper, look for ways to excel and make the team and department better gave me all the skills I use now. She still works full-time, has bipolar disorder, and ADHD, so her focus is the name of the game to handling it all. In 2018, due to an empty nest, she decided to start a Virtual Assistant small business.
In September 2021, she started an extension of her business, VA World Conference an annual event, catered to Women of Color, who wish to start a Virtual Service Provider small business. We aim to provide a means to successful entrepreneurship that includes mental, physical, and financial wellbeing.
What inspired the start of “The VA World Conference”?
I wanted to spare other women of color some time and exasperation when starting and working in their business.
What has been the biggest challenge of starting a conference like “The VA World Conference”?
The biggest challenge was not having the expertise to do it all and having to bootstrap the first year.
What can attendees expect during this conference?
We have 4 powerful speakers who are in varying stages of their business and offering topics that resonate with new business owners.
Where do you hope to see your conference in the next 3-5 years?
I hope in 3–5 years we are able to socialize/network in-person, that we are able to at least make a profit, and is a premier resource for women of color who aim to start a business to get support as a whole.
What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs?
I always say to just start, done is better than perfect. The Virtual Service Provider Industry is constantly in flux so be adaptable and allow yourself grace.
What does being “Pretty and Black Owned” mean to you?
I interpret the Pretty as a synonym for being a whole person who emphasizes the value of leading from one’s center with genuineness, generosity, and trust, and draws upon one’s talents, gifts, and skillsets. Pretty and Black Owned means that I am a whole entrepreneur, mentally-physically-financially.
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