Jaren Kirkland is no ordinary 23-year-old. He is an ambitious entrepreneur who has owned his own delivery logistics business, Duality Ventures, since he was 21, putting Kirkland on the map as a successful, young business owner partnering with Amazon to deliver for customers.
Entrepreneurship runs in Kirkland's blood, but owning his own business was never a guarantee. His father, Sam Kirkland, is also an entrepreneur and an Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP) who expected his son to be independent from an early age. The elder Kirkland said he continuously challenged his son to grow and didn’t offer handouts, only advice.
“I gave him a few tips: Get a credit card and only charge what you’d normally spend, put together a savings plan, and create a network of people that you can grow with later in life,” he said.
The younger Kirkland graduated from the University of Michigan at age 20 and wanted to work for his father. His father suggested the opposite, telling his son: “You’re capable of more than following what’s familiar to you. I want you to go off on your own and seek out new experiences that I could never offer you.”
After a year of working as a consultant in Washington, D.C., Kirkland began to consider becoming an Amazon DSP and business owner like his father. On paper, he had what it took to become an Amazon DSP, but saw his age as a barrier to being taken seriously. Regardless, he channeled his experience being around his family's logistics business growing up and started Duality Ventures and applied for the Amazon DSP program.
Amazon accepted him into the program in 2020—over the past two years, he has grown his business from 12 drivers to 80 drivers.
“What I value most about being a DSP is that I have an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives through employment,” Kirkland said. “There are those who may consider it daunting for someone at my age, but I’m honored to be able to lead a team of 80 and demonstrate that Generation Z has so much to offer.”
Kirkland has coached employees who have been with him since day one and promoted them into management, all while creating a sustainable and profitable business.
“Jaren is one of those leaders you feel when he walks into the room. He always puts a smile on my face, and you can just see the respect that he gets from his team,” said Brandon Truiett, who works with Kirkland as Amazon’s site leader at delivery station site lead in Williamsport, Maryland.
Kirkland takes pride in leadership and attributes his success to being ambitious and committed, yet progressive and compassionate. He not only motivates his employees to strive to be the best, he also empowers them to find work-life balance and to prioritize their mental health. He believes his role as a business owner goes beyond just being the boss—it's about getting the opportunity to help make peoples’ lives better and being a role model for the Black community.
“His ability to relate to his drivers and Amazon management is what I’m most proud of,” said his father. “He never hesitates to help out. Nothing is ‘beneath’ Jaren and he leads with humbleness, that’s what makes a great leader. His mother, Vivian, his brothers, sisters, and I are all proud of him.”
Amazon is investing in the future and constantly finding new ways to empower employees and partners to succeed. Learn more about Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner program and delivery driver opportunities near you.