Tell me a little about yourself. Do you have any hobbies or interests?
My name is VeQuain Joyner, I am from Kinston NC. In high school I played football, baseball, and basketball so I have lived my life with a sports mindset as I’m attacking the day little by little. I have modeled my mentality based on my sports experience. I attend UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.
I have always wanted to help people in whatever I do and this desire led me to my first career working at the YMCA in downtown Greensboro as the Youth’s Sports Director. This position led me to my next role as Youth Director with the Boys and Girls Club in New Bern, NC.
I was a part of the organization that I grew up in and it was an amazing experience. To be able to work with kids that are growing up in the same area I grew up in was extraordinary. From there, I got the opportunity to come to Durham and begin working with Clinispan Health and I jumped on it.
What does Clinispan Health do in a nutshell?
Clinispan Health is a diversity recruiting company. We help recruit people of color and underrepresented groups of people into clinical trials. A problem that we are trying to solve is that a large population of America is represented by People of Color, Women, and other underrepresented populations but aren’t accurately represented in medical studies due to them not participating.
So we are working to remove the access barriers so that those populations are fairly represented in medical trials which leads to better medications. We want to help the communities that use these medicines and it starts with making sure they are involved and have a voice in these trials.
What inspired you to start this company?
My co-founders and I noticed a problem starting with our families. We have noticed the types of medicine and the amounts that our older family members would take and how it would work adversely rather than help them in some cases.
Personal experiences and taking the knowledge that we have learned and how important it was for people who look like us to be involved in these clinical trials. All of these factors were our call to action with creating Clinispan Health.
What’s your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
Being in control of my own path. The area where I grew up you graduate from school and then you go work for a company for basically the rest of your life. For me, I knew I would get bored doing that. I wanted to take control of my path and ultimately live by what I believe and that is helping people. I still wanted to be able to build the wealth for what I need but also use my own vision to solve the problems I see in the communities I care about.
Do you have any mentors or role models who have inspired you while you have been building your business?
This might be funny but it is actually one of my other co-founders, Dezbee McDaniel. I didn’t always have an entrepreneurial mindset but when I met him and saw how passionate he was about solving world problems in a self-created environment, it was inspiring. Seeing him build from his first company to where we are now with Clinispan Health, the knowledge that he gained from that and his willingness to share and educate me along the journey is priceless.
It is amazing to see his journey. He has been talking about being an entrepreneur and building businesses since we were sitting on campus in college. Seeing it come to fruition is motivating for me to start carving my own path to being an entrepreneur.
Any advice for entrepreneurs?
For upcoming entrepreneurs, don’t be afraid to fail. I have always been willing to act on ideas that I have and honestly, 8 out 10 of those ideas usually don’t work out. But the two that finally end up working are worth the other 8 failures. Take those chances because you won’t be able to grow if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
One thing that my Grandma always told me was “if you are sitting at home and you feel content, then you are doing something wrong. You always need to be challenging yourself with things that make you uncomfortable because that is how you know you are growing and making progress in life.”