Originally from Nigeria, Agunbiade Seun Richards relocated with his family from Dubai to Saint John in 2018.
While he found steady employment, Seun is a natural entrepreneur, so in April 2019 he resigned his paid employment to start delivering food for SkipTheDishes while simultaneously pursuing his doctoral degree in Entrepreneurship at UNB. He attended two entrepreneurship programs organized by Economic Development Greater Saint John (EDGSJ) in Q4-2019 and Q1-2020 to further sharpen his business management skills.
He combined this entrepreneurial education with his experience in the burgeoning home delivery service industry to found Door2Door Pickup Couriers and started operations in February 2020. The timing couldn’t have been more fortuitous – in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the sharp rise in food insecurity and the risk in going grocery shopping, Seun’s business of delivering groceries was suddenly the fastest-growing sector around. He quickly carved out a niche market with the international students and newcomer families, while still doing a brisk business with other residents of Saint John, including restaurants and other local businesses in the city.
However, Seun realized that the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic meant that people with transport and mobility challenges couldn’t do regular shopping, rendering them highly vulnerable to food insecurity. To make sure his community stayed fed, this Door2Door courier provided free delivery to vulnerable persons, including students on campus who were greatly affected due to transport limitations.
The company was soon contracted for Amazon Prime delivery and has grown to over a dozen workers, hired other newcomers from Nigeria, Cameroun, Kenya, Jamaica, India, Syria, Iran, Morocco, Sudan, Nepal, as well as local Canadians for its daily operations. Not only has this provided a huge range of diverse ideas to his team, but he has granted many newcomers with key Canadian work experience and job security in these uncertain times.
Outside of his business, Seun and his team were already volunteering at the City of Saint John’s open market series during the summer, adding a vital visual model of entrepreneurship to the black community.
As a business owner and a true servant to the community, we are proud to award Seun Richards the Immigrant Entrepreneur Award!