From Earning $500 to Building a Water Company that Brings in over $700M in Revenue: Read Nayana Williams’ Story

Meet Nayana Williams, a Jamaican entrepreneur, CEO, and philanthropist who started Lifespan Company Limited, a top bottled water manufacturer. She established the water company from the ground up, propelling it to the forefront of the bottled spring water industry.

Since its inception in 2005, the water company has grown from three to 155 workers and $700 million in revenue, with a growth rate of nearly 10,000 percent as of 2019.

Williams made $500 per week as a graphic artist before launching her company. However, inspirational stories of female leaders such as Angela Merkel, Rosa Parks, and Josephine Baker would motivate her to become her own boss.

“I’ve always been attracted by women who have pushed limits and created opportunities for other women. “Some of the women who have inspired me are Rosa Parks and Josephine Baker,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “In recent times, Angela Merkel, who has demonstrated what it means to be a true leader and a fearless woman.”

Williams resided in America for some time before returning to Portland, Jamaica, in 2005 to launch Lifespan.

“When I returned to Jamaica, it was to the parish of Portland, which is breathtakingly beautiful, but with limited career opportunities,” she said in The Gleaner. “After evaluating what resources [were] available, I decided to create a job for myself and others with the intention of contributing to building up my community and raising the standard of living for myself, my family and my community, which led to starting Lifespan.”

Her achievements in the water bottling industry have earned her global recognition. Her company has received the Monde Selection Grand Gold International Quality Award two years in a row. Williams said, “Building this company from inception is something I am extremely proud of.”

The Titchfield High School alumnus studied law but chose entrepreneurship over a legal profession.

“Despite pursuing a law degree, I couldn’t imagine myself living in the ordinary. I need to be continually pushed in a creative way. I wanted to make my own rules and follow my passion and purpose.”

Williams has overcome numerous hurdles to reach her current position, particularly in a male-dominated sector.

Her favorite places to relax are frequently beaches or green spaces. She thinks that connecting with nature gives her a sense of peace.

“My favorite location to rest is in my hammock, where I can see the ocean, the sky, and the greenest trees. When I am in this atmosphere, I feel at ease and connected to nature. “I love the environment and nature,” she remarked.

Williams is married with children. As a wife, mother, daughter, and sister, she is a guide to aspiring entrepreneurs. She also has a law degree and various business degrees. When not developing enterprises and giving back to the community, the Jamaican entrepreneur enjoys reading, writing, swimming, and cooking, among other activities.



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