The first Black woman to own a dealership in Colorado, Amanda started her company by herself in 2018 with two used cars and a $10,000 loan.
When Amanda Gordon took what she calls a ‘leap of faith’ in 2018, she didn’t know she was making history. Even though the U.S. auto industry is 130 years old, a Black woman had never owned an auto dealership in the state of Colorado.
Amanda is the owner of GoJo Auto, a used car dealership located in Denver, Colorado. The first Black woman to own a dealership in Colorado — and the fourth in the United States! — Amanda started her company by herself in 2018 with two used cars and a $10,000 loan from her mother. Today, GoJo’s has 60+ cars and 10 employees with more on the way.
We met Amanda when she was looking to better understand her money management and explore some expansion options, and she found Pacific Community Ventures through our partnership with Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). We matched her with pro bono advisor Trent, a corporate development manager. As her advisor, Trent has helped Amanda to manage and strengthen her cash flow, improve how she’s paying herself and her employees, and work through the differences between the traditional and franchising routes to future dealership expansion.
Amanda told Colorado’s ABC News 9 that when she learned she was the first, she thought, “‘Wait a minute, what year is it?’ Cars? The car industry has been around since the 1890s. I’m the first?” At the same time, she reflected on what it means in an age when Black women, and women of color, have been starting more businesses than anyone for years, but also having a harder time finding capital and advice. “Our grandfathers and great, great grandfathers weren’t allowed to buy land, let alone businesses. So, we’re starting from scratch. And, it’s not for lack of intellect. It’s not for lack of work ethic. It’s just for lack of opportunity.”
“For the longest time I had imposter syndrome: I don’t deserve this. I don’t belong here. And now, my thought-life is surrounded by positive affirmations….My parents raised me to fight ten times as hard because I always had two strikes against me. One, I was a woman. Number 2, I was a Black woman. So, I just knew I always had to work harder. And so, I never stopped to think that something didn’t happen because of the color of my skin or something didn’t happen because I’m a woman. And, it makes me emotional because I sit at tables with people who have been handed things. I sit at tables where people are not as hard-working or really don’t care or aren’t as passionate as I am. But, yet they’re ahead of me because of the color of their skin or because of their gender. And, it just makes me want to fight even harder to be bigger and to be better and to have a staff and a team and a consumer base that looks like me so I can say, ‘We did that.”
Congratulations Amanda, we are so proud of your success, and how you share that success with your team!