young entrepreneurs in houston“I just believe and I work as hard as I can to make everything possible,” said Ahmed Olayiwola in our phone interview, which occurred just days after he launched his restaurant  in Houston, Texas. He calls his restaurant a “life changer.”  That description is unsurprising given that Ahmed formerly studied petroleum engineering for his undergraduate degree at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. Ahmed chose Tulsa because, “It was a private university,” he recalled, “[a]nd I always wanted a one on one relationship with my professors.” Upon graduation he left Oklahoma and migrated to Texas where he decided to pursue a graduate degree in subsea engineering at the University of Houston.  While Ahmed loved engineering, he confessed that, “Really no one is hiring,” at least not in his fields of study.

About a year and a half ago he realized that he would have to look elsewhere for employment upon his graduation from grad school. Ahmed was not afraid to get creative with his future prospects though. Eventually, the idea of his restaurant, which specializes in delivering African cuisine straight to your doorstep, was conceived. Together with a friend, he overcame various obstacles to make their dream a reality, and so far, their delivery business is being well received by the community.  When queried about his success he laughed and said, “At the end of the day all I can say is, ‘Thank God.’ ” In addition to his past studies and his current occupation as a restauranteur Ahmed also acts as the CEO of a record label back in Nigeria where he is from.  He cited the musicians and artists that his label signs as, “Afro-pop,” but admitted that his music taste is quite diverse in terms of what he listens to while out and about the town. He also offers free fitness advice to people who are looking to change their lifestyles through 1rep_fitness. Ahmed is passionate about being the best he can be in every aspect of his life, which naturally includes working out and eating well.

When asked if he would describe himself as an entrepreneur Ahmed responded with a resounding, “Yes, of course.” He stated that for him one of the keys to his success is the unwavering support of so many people, in particular his mother. He called her his, “Number one fan,” and mentioned how she supported him in every way imaginable,”She broke her back to make me the strong man I am today.” Other things that have kept him on track and successful are his optimism and his faith in God.  As for stress, Ahmed acknowledges that it exists in his life, but that it is never an overwhelming factor for him, “God should always be your number one, you don’t need stress,” he said with a smile in his voice.