headshot of entrepreneur Joy lloegbu

Spotlight on New York State’s EACs: Joy Professional Home Care Services

During Black History Month, we’re spotlighting one of the six Entrepreneurs of the Year honored at the Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers (EAC) 2022 conference. Read the profile below to find out more about how the EACs can help New Yorkers start and grow their businesses: esd.ny.gov/entrepreneurship-assistance-centers

Joy lloegbu asked herself if she could ever build a million-dollar home care agency with a voice that sounds different. Iloegbu, who grew up in Nigeria, fell off a chair when she was a baby and split her tongue, leaving her unable to speak for nearly six years. She eventually regained her voice but was left with a lifelong speech impediment that made it difficult for people to understand her. Her childhood experience made her determined to work “150% harder,” and not to allow her impediment to prevent her from becoming a success. Later on, after graduating Molloy College’s nursing program as an honors student, Iloegbu eventually became a critical care nurse in a hospital ICU. While her impediment prevented her from obtaining further training as a nurse practitioner, she persevered, eventually finding a position as a nurse manager in a hospital’s critical care and telemetry unit. 

Iloegbu has since found her new voice, setting the tone as an entrepreneur and owner of her own home care agency, Joy Professional Home Care Services. The Long Island company, based in Baldwin, N.Y., provides intentional and compassionate companion care for hospice patients, describing its care model as one grounded in joy, peace and happiness. In addition to hospice, Iloegbu also provides care for clients with the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and for geriatric patients, most of them aged 80 or older. Making the change from working as a nurse manager to becoming an entrepreneur was a significant step for Iloegbu.  

In 2017, she joined the Entrepreneurship Assistance Center (EAC) at Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) to tighten her business plan and become MWBE-certified, which further broadened her growth opportunities.  With the EAC’s guidance on both, she grew her business revenue from $30,000 to $300,000. The business also grew from a solo operation to one with 15 employees. Iloegbu describes the technical assistance support provided to her by the EAC as “magical." 

Iloegbu believes minority entrepreneurs are stronger and more agile when working with the support of umbrella institutions like the EAC and New York State’s MWBE Certification programs. She consistently makes time to speak and mentor new entrepreneurs at Suffolk County Community College. 

The first thing that came to mind when Iloegbu thought about creating her own home care agency was, “How am I going to present myself and convince people that I am capable of this?” Now, her work clearly speaks for itself.