Woman-Owned Business Initiative Success Story

by Women In Trucking Staff, on Feb 20, 2024 1:06:01 PM

With help from ES and the Path To Ownership™ program, DeShawn Henry and Russell Jones became team drivers and secured funding for their first truck.

There are 185 new women-owned businesses created since 2017 - and counting – due to a partnership between Expediter Services (ES), a leader in capacity solutions and ownership opportunities, and the Women In Trucking Association (WIT). The program’s goal is to change the game for female drivers interested in becoming business owners. This commitment to help generate women-owned businesses has sparked a movement that continues to pick up steam.

According to the 2023 WIT Index, female drivers comprise approximately 12.1% of the total driver workforce. When you look inside the ES Community, nearly 40% of the members of the ES Community are women – entrepreneurs who have embraced the opportunities that exist within the trucking industry.

The Women-Owned Business Initiative

In 2017, ES partnered with WIT, accepting the challenge to help establish 150 women-owned businesses. Backed by an extensive vendor network that includes industry experts in vehicle financing, insurance, support services, and more, the expectations were high.

Jason Williams 300x300Many, including Jason Williams, CEO of ES, thought that once the 150 Women-Owned Business Challenge got started, it wouldn’t take long to accomplish. Despite the pandemic and the economic downturn, the program flourished.

In early 2022, ES celebrated reaching their initial goal of creating and supporting 150 women-owned businesses. Given the program’s success, the leadership at ES made the decision to continue this important work as the Women-Owned Business Initiative from ES. Today, the number of women-owned businesses with Expediter Services approaches 200 participants, a testament to the resilience and fortitude of those in the program and the ES team.

Providing A Path to Ownership™

The Women-Owned Business Initiative utilizes the ES Path To Ownership™ model, which includes matching program participants with motor carriers in the ES Community as well as offering competitive market-rate financing and relationship lending through ES Equipment Finance.

But no two paths are the same. Drivers that become business owners come from all walks of life, and it is their attitude, aptitude, and work ethic that ultimately determine success.

Take DeShawn Henry and Russell Jones, for example. Like many others, the trucking industry is a second career for them both. Their path to success might look and sound familiar, but the story is uniquely their own.

Making the leap from the medical field and managing Fortune-500 companies might not be the traditional path to truck ownership, but it made perfect sense to DeShawn and Russell. As the pandemic ramped up, both saw the need for a career change that would allow them to maintain control while also reducing stress. The road was calling, and they were ready to run.

After a couple of years behind the wheel as company drivers, they were introduced to the ES Path To Ownership™ program by a friend. When asked about their immediate impressions of the ES team, DeShawn smiled and described it with a single word: Family.

As team drivers backed by years of experience in the business world, they knew that they had the skills to strike out on their own, but also understood that they needed to have a support network in place to help get their business off the ground.

The ES Women-Owned Business Initiative “just felt right,” according to DeShawn.

Like others in the Path To Ownership™ program, DeShawn and Russell were given the opportunity and support needed to make sure that ownership was right for them. Instead of just handing over the keys and hoping that they succeed, ES works diligently alongside their operators to provide guidance and support when needed.

After a few short months, it was evident that DeShawn and Russell had the skills and mindset to build their business. With the help of ES, they secured funding for their first truck and the rest, you could say, is history.

Today, DeShawn and Russell are a shining example that you don’t have to be born into trucking to make it in this industry. With the right tools, a thirst for knowledge, and a solid support system, anyone can thrive.

To learn more about the many advantages provided by ES and the Women-Owned Business Initiative, visit ESSuccessInTrucking.com.


This article was originally featured in Edition 2 of 2023 in our official magazine, Redefining The Road. Download the latest edition here.

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Topics:Redefining The Road MagazineDriver Perspective

About Women In Trucking

The Women In Trucking Association is a non-profit organization with the mission to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in articles within the WIT Blog are those of the authors/submitters and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Women In Trucking Association.

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