Name: Nehemiah Davis
Profession: Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
One Word That Describes You: Determined
The city of Brotherly Love is universally acclaimed for its food, its soulful music, and its history as one of the founding states in America. Philadelphia attracted more than 39 million domestic tourists in 2013 alone for its culture, outdoor sculptures, and murals, which clock in at more than any other American city. At the heart of this city inside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is Nehemiah Davis, a man who stands for helping his fellow men in their time of need.
A serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, this 28-year-old humble soul has created his own nonprofit organization (Nehemiah Davis Foundation) and numerous businesses, which include Neo Daviso. Finding inspiration to go out on his own after “being constantly fired from jobs,” Davis decided that enough was enough and started his own companies. “I had to overcome the fear of failing and giving up on my goals,” he told BE Modern Man exclusively. Even though he was building a reputation in his city, with jobs being offered to him that would provide security, Davis decided that there was no turning back from the plan A he created.
Under the NDF banner, Davis and his host of volunteers have served the community of Philadelphia tremendously. By hosting annual Christmas toy drives (“Gifts From Heaven”); handing out turkey dinners at Thanksgiving, back-to-school events, and cultivating a philanthropic t-shirt line called “Peace ‘N Philly,” Davis gives seniors, families who need assistance, the homeless, and veterans a reason to smile and stay away from negativity. We asked the native Philly son what he thought were some key tenets to success for black men, and here’s what he said: “I think black men are determined to succeed by any means. We are just wired to be successful if we want to get something done in our lifetime.”
Nine years ago, Davis caught the entrepreneurial itch at the ripe old age of 19. With the aid of his mother, Myra Grant, he was able to get and run a fruit truck that served West Philadelphia. The success he experienced only enhanced his entrepreneurial drive when his mother, along with his twin sisters, took $50 and made sandwiches to feed the homeless. Adding the philanthropic element to his budding company was spurred by his mother’s yearning, as she said, according to the local CBS station, “You’re making money, son—we need to give back somehow.” How was Davis able to make an impact within his community? “By staying firm and persistent, I am able to influence and reach my peers,” he says. “I became a role model because I didn’t have one growing up and I knew how much it would have assisted me if I would have had one.”
When he’s not giving back to his peers and those less fortunate, Davis is a successful CEO who runs three businesses. From Daviso Junk Removal to Myra’s Vitamin and Wellness Shop (named after his mother) to Neo Daviso, a clothing company that merges fashion with motivational quotes, Davis is setting his sights high. A graduate from the Mathematics, Civics, and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia, Davis also believes that education is another cornerstone to achieving success as a black man. “I believe self-education is one of the most important things a person can do,” he says. “Even for jobs, the proper education and skill set is very important to become successful.”
Motivated by his mother and grandmother, influenced by his community and surroundings, Davis acknowledges that men of color still have an upward hill to climb. “Black men [are not championed by others] because it is not necessarily the ‘cool’ thing to do,” he says. “Those who are making a difference in other fields, or are positive, or are just doing good isn’t quite as entertaining as others. These qualities also won’t sell or make other people a lot of money because they are servicing others who aren’t as fortunate.” But by dreaming big and executing flawlessly, Davis has proven that he can do anything he wants when it comes to empowering his community.
As a man with strong character and conviction, Davis only wants to do more. “The impact that I’ve had thus far is great, but I’m looking to expand and touch more people,” he says. “My main goal is to inspire and empower other people to find their God-given talents and live their life to the fullest.” It is with that that we salute Nehemiah Davis as a BE Modern Man and acknowledge his successes in defying the stereotypes labeled upon the men in our community. Through his resiliency, fortitude, and sheer will to be a voice for the people, Davis shares with us his definition of what it means to be a BE Modern Man, saying, “To be a BE Modern Man means to be a strong, independent, go-getter that is willing to succeed by any means. I see that definition as everlasting, but it is my hope that more people will work to live up to being a BE Modern Man.”
Davis’s energy and effort shows a commitment to the human community that is worth championing. From taking kids on a ski trip out of the neighborhood to encouraging others to join in to help, Davis is helping others stay away from negativity and do more with their life. For that, we embrace his passion to utilize his imagination to assist others, as he is proof positive that our normal is extraordinary. His mission of creating businesses and saving lives frames us in an enthusiastic light, and is meant to be celebrated and appreciated.