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Once homeless, this black entrepreneur now owns a $20 million trucking company



34-year old Amari Ruff had a rough start growing up. As a teenager, he had to balance studies and work to help his mother make ends meet while moving between homeless shelters.

However, he now has a multimillion dollar trucking business called Sudu that links small business owners with enormous corporations like Walmart and UPS.

His military father abandoned his mother to raise him and his two brothers when he was 16 years old.

They resided in shelters for the homeless, and Amari once had to travel more than four hours each way to continue attending high school and working.

In the end, he was hired by a business and began negotiating major enterprise contracts.

He assisted in the company’s expansion to $4.5 million in annual revenue but was demoted from the better position he had been promised.

He claimed he wasn’t expecting it and that it was actually a depressing time in his life, but this served as inspiration for him to succeed as an entrepreneur.

beginning at the base

In 2010, Amari made the decision to launch a communications business with just $300 and a 1990 Ford Ranger.

However, he soon succeeded in expanding it to five U.S. locations and approximately 200 trucks.


While at it, he also realized that there were bigger opportunities to create a tech company to connect underserved entrepreneurs (minorities, women, and veterans) with larger corporations. He then built his own business to fill the void.

In 2015, he launched Sudu, an online marketplace that leverages technology to connect small and medium-sized trucking companies (which make up 90% or the trucking market) to major corporations that ship goods.

He chose the name Sudu, which is a Chinese word that means speed and tempo, because he says he believes it speaks well to the speed and efficiency they provide the industry through their technology which is considered as the “Uber” for truckers.

Because of his genius, Amari became in demand to speak at international tech and entrepreneurial conferences.

He was invited to address the Nelson Mandela Fellows Panel and the Build Your Own Brand conference and retreat.

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He also started winning major awards such as the 2016 NMTA Minority Business of the Year, the 2017 Georgia Trend Magazine Trendsetter, and the 2018 Atlanta Business Chronicle InnoVenture Award.

Even the Venture Atlanta Top 10 Startups to Watch list featured him.

In just three years, his Atlanta, Georgia-based company, Sudu, expanded to include more than 300,000 trucking firms in its network, with a focus on minority, female, and veteran-owned firms.

Additionally, he has been successful in reaching agreements with significant businesses like Walmart, P&G, Delta Airlines, Anheuser-Busch, Georgia Pacific, and UPS.