Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hourad Afsar, Founder of UGR - Next Gen Compliance, located in Princeton, NJ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

UGR is a leading next-gen compliance advisory with years of experience working with emerging technologies and compliance solutions. Our platform provides companies with top subject matter experts (SMEs) and state-of-the-art regulatory technology solutions to cover the full spectrum of compliance risk in multiple jurisdictions. The business environment is continuously evolving with tighter regulations while compliance turns digital. We are passionate about emerging technologies and provide compliance expertise for a variety of Fintechs and RegTech companies, Blockchain, DeFi, Digital Assets, Crypto, and Web3 businesses, including all digital start-ups. We want all entrepreneurs, innovators, and businesses to get the right expertise to grow and succeed but not fail for non-compliance. We offer Compliance As a Service (CaaS), a flexible pay-as-you-need subscription-based plan allowing companies to plan, prioritize, and execute against all their strategic compliance projects and technology initiatives. We have a track record of success helping smaller Banks, FinTechs, Payment Processors, DeFi, Digital Assets, Blockchain, and Crypto businesses.

Tell us about yourself

After some 15 years working in the traditional financial services industry as a Compliance Officer, I jumped into the wild world of entrepreneurship and got the urge to onboard the exciting Fintech and digital revolution. I saw so many promising start-ups fail for non-compliance and lack of resources that building a company around helping entrepreneurs and innovators succeed with proper compliance expertise, road map, and technology made a lot of sense to me. I love helping others do well and am happy to be part of such an exciting ecosystem in a unique moment in time. So far, I have been blessed to meet and work with so many great people, leaders, companies, and innovative products. Although the journey has had its challenges and has not always been a walk in the park, I would do it all over again.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Starting all from scratch with no funding and resources in a very competitive field where I had literally no network coming into the NYC area. You don't build your success overnight, but each step you take forward is a new milestone in your success. "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment" - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

You have to be very comfortable with uncertainty and the unexpected. No one day is the same. You need to be very laser-focused on your mission, be agile, open-minded and always solution and customer oriented. Adaptable but firm at times as well. It is a performance game where you almost have to have the discipline of a high-level athlete. You won't succeed if you have no belief in your product or team. Eat well, meditate, create a positive environment and take some time off to reset. Build a strong trust team and take every setback as an experience and not a failure.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Pick something you love and are passionate about. It will make your journey so much easier in harder times. Your energy will be genuine, and it will attract people to you as a magnet. You will be surprised by the results.
  2. 2 . Be yourself and stick to your values. Don't get distracted and pushed away from your mission. You are forging your own path in this world, so enjoy every moment you have along the way.
  3. Work with good and positive people whenever you have a choice. It will simply bring the best out of you and make you a much more creative and happier person.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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