Nine no’s and one yes

Four years ago today, we gave a high school dropout a $50,000 loan to pursue his passion and start an educational glass-bottom boat business. Allington ‘Gumption’ Creque had been turned down by four banks, and even his mother told him to give up. But, he didn’t.

Seeing the passion in his eyes – and as a high school dropout myself – I took a chance and gave him a little help to get off the ground; or should I say, on the water. He had nine no’s – now he had one yes.


It was one of the best business decisions we’ve made. Gumption not only paid us back in full in six months, he also went on to become a successful and purposeful entrepreneur.

Watch Gumption tell his story, and bring a little bit of British Virgin Islands flair to the TEDx stage, in the video below. Once you do, you’ll understand why he got the nickname Gumption…

As an animal lover and Ocean Elder, I always smile when I see Gumption’s boat pull up to Necker. His business, Sea It Clear, is doing wonderful work to promote ocean and animal conservation within the BVI; and even better, his customers are spreading the message of the tours across the globe.

Operating with purpose beyond profit, Gumption has inspired more entrepreneurs in the BVI. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to start up, I encourage you to follow Gumption’s three simple rules for doing business: have an open mind, think like a customer, and have fun. And to take note of his mantra: dream big, but also realistically, and think purposefully and act productively.


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