Thursday, July 30, 2009

Anatomy of an Entrepreneur

Anatomy of an Entrepreneur

PS: You can save this to your computer too- click on "more" and then "save".

Monday, July 27, 2009

Entrepreneurship, alla BBC

Heard of the Dragon's Den?

HINT: It has nothing to do with Harry Potter.

It's a BBC show about average people with entrepreneurial aspirations, who are challenged to "pitch" their ideas to 5 millionaires.

According to the website:

"The pressure of the pitch can get very personal, but the Dragons can sniff out a diamond in the rough and recognize an idea with that extra something special. They have the power to make dreams come true, and if they like the idea they'll invest money from their own pockets."

I'm not sure how I feel about the term "dragons", but regardless... the show seems to have a few interesting lessons in it. The feedback on venture ideas is harsh, and flat out mean at times, but why endure that kind of criticism when you can learn from others... (even if it is over-dramatized for mass-consumption).

The website also offers "Tips for the Pitch" , and a few Q&A sessions with professionals.

Here's a clip:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Green Jeddah!

The final presentations have begun, and one of the groups already has a blog up for their project!

Congratulations on a job well-done!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Students solidify their projects

We are more than half-way through the 2-week Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship at Babson College, and I am happy to say the impact is definitely visible.

Student groups have been working hard on their ventures, and are putting together their action plans. Yesterday we held a "nay-sayers" workshop in which facilitators of the program challenged assumptions, needs-assessments, etc... While it was challenging for students to have to backup and explain their ideas and plans, the projects have emerged stronger than before.

The program will continue to focus today on "Action Plans" and "Business Plans", in preparation for the final two days of the Symposium, which will be focused on finalizing plans and "pitching" projects to the faculty and facilitators.

We are all very excited to hear the final projects!

*Photo courtesy of Emily Tavoulareas, ICF International

Monday, July 20, 2009


A great model, and resource!


Virgance is a company that seeks to promote campaigns using market-based methods that are effective, transparent, profitable, and scalable. They do online organizing to create offline positive change that is direct and tangible.

website -
blog -

I'm adding both of these to our "related links & resources" section.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Social Earth

Great site and resource!

And the Forum is on the front of their website!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Should all business be ethical or socially focused?

As a follow-up to the debate that we had today on whether or not all entrepreneurship was SOCIAL... see the video below, done by ClearlySo (referenced in an earlier post today), in the U.K.

ClearlySo - Social Business

Great resource!!!

I have added the link to "related links and resources" section in the left column of the blog.

The beauty of virtual communities...

12 countries created this virtually... who doesn't love social media?

Symposium, Day 2

Day 2 of the Symposium began with this:

We're off to a great start.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Symposium Launch

The Symposium has officially begun!

The program began over the weekend with a lively introduction to the campus and a film project in downtown Boston. Classes began on Monday, and were focused on splitting the students into the project groups that they will remain in through December.

Stay tuned for updates on the Symposium as it unfolds.

You can also follow us on twitter: @EmilyTav and #ussaudiforum

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship

The time has finally come. Tomorrow morning I leave for Boston, where I will be linking up with all our partners and 30 students from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the 2-week Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship.

I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone that has made this program what it is, and I look forward to seeing what all the students will accomplish following the Symposium at Babson College.

The Symposium will be taking place on the Babson campus for the next 2 weeks, and is being implemented by Babson College, the Wellesley Centers for Women, and ICF International in partnership with the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

Stay tuned for ongoing updates during the Symposium- and join us for discussion in the comment sections!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Facebook in the Kingdom

Minister Abdulaziz Khoja, Saudi Minister of Information, and a former Saudi Ambassador to Turkey, Russia, Morocco and Lebanon... has a facebook page.

Yes... a facebook page.

I hesitate to dive into all the hype surrounding "new media" and "web 2.0" as a revolutionary tool, but this move undeniably sends a significant message: Saudi Arabia, a country which has a track-record of blocking and restricting access to these types of sites in the past, now has an Information Minister who is embracing the networking site and using it to communicate with the public. HOW it will be used remains to be seen, but so far the minister has communicated with the public about emergency situations, and even conducted online interviews.

This seems to signify that the ministry is finally taking online communications seriously- a move in the right direction, as the Saudi public clearly has something to say. Doubtful? Check out the "Saudi Bloggers" social network (hosted on - a social network that brings together bloggers from Saudi Arabia.

Faisal J. Abbas, London-based International Arab Affairs and Media Commentator for the Huffington Post, did a quick Facebook-interview with the Minister, who explained why he decided to join Facebook:

I felt the need to reach out to the young generation and to speak the same language they do... Since we live in the age of communication I felt the need to cope with all the technological advancement, and finally King Abdullah orders us to serve the people in every way possible

What does this mean for youth in Saudi Arabia? What does this mean for the future of communications-transparency-public diplomacy-etc... in Saudi Arabia? I guess we shall see...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Find Your Mission

Salesian Missions "focuses on rebuilding lives and helping young people become self-sufficient by learning a trade that will help them gain employment, which in turn builds communities."

While diverse in nature and location, Salesian Missions focuses on the following areas/issues:
  • Youth Education and Trade Schools
  • Infrastructure and Capacity Building
  • Health Services
  • Emergency Relief
  • Women Empowerment
  • Homeless Youth
  • Refugee Camps and Displaced Populations
  • Youth Clubs
  • Food Security Programs
What's your mission?