Mother Teresa Driving School CEO Leneka Rhoden, a graduate of the Queens High School and Faculty of Social Sciences with an Honors BSc. Degree in Marine Biology and International Relations, started the driving school to teach a new generation to have knowledge, respect and discipline when on the road. Her entrepreneurial journey began when she came to the personal realization that she did not want to put in what she characterizes as “116,480 hours” of work for someone else, so was inspired to carve out a pathway to independence and success working for herself.
Positioned as an affordable and cost-competitive driving academy, the Mother Teresa Driving School was created out of what CEO Leneka Rhoden saw as a need for students to learn more about the rudiments of driving. Mother Teresa Driving School realized the lack of guidance offered by industry leaders and sought to add value in the field by offering more to clients. According to Leneka “The goal of the company is to be a one-stop facility for all driver education needs, including applying for learners permits, acquiring education materials, driving test preparation and refresher courses as well as offering other discounted vehicle services to busy business persons who don’t have the time to go to the tax office.”
In an effort to grow her business Leneka entered the Vincent HoSang UWI Venture competition in 2020 and won the JMMB Prize for Corporate Social Responsibility. According to Leneka “The competition definitely prepares you to run a profitable and scalable business. The support post-competition is extremely great as well. These priceless lessons are what have been the fuel to grow and expand my business. I’m able to take a step back and look at things differently, which of course increases efficiency and profits in the long run.”
With all of her entrepreneurial pursuits, Leneka also recently received a Master of Philosophy in Environmental Biology. She has a deep passion for climate change and protecting the environment and is playing her own part in trying to be part of the change she would like to see. As such, Leneka has established another company named E-Biome, a scientific research and development consultancy which employs innovative and creative strategies to find science and technology driven solutions for its clients. As part of her efforts to positively impact the environment, Leneka has also created a virtual Summer of STEM camp which is in its second staging with 30 students currently registered and has been endorsed by the Faculty of Science and Technology at UWI.
Currently Leneka is an Environmental Scientist and Consultant, Development Project Manager, Experienced Educator and Business Development Consultant. In addition, she serves as the Coordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network. For her work in helping to promote the role of STEM in Development, she was named one of the youngest members of the Organization for Women in Science in the Developing World.
Leneka’s advice to other budding entrepreneurs is “not to give up, especially when they’re in the early stages. It will be hard and giving up will seem like the most logical option, but all great discoveries and inventions took time. So keep pushing through, keep taking your health seriously, and keep a positive mindset.”