Friday, December 18, 2009

Thoughts from the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards is the premier award for students that own and run businesses while attending a college or university.

As we have mentioned before, one of our students was one of the 30 finalists at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards - and was one of just THREE women!

Ms. Maria Mahdaly was happy to share with us a few thoughts on her experience at the event:

When I was getting ready for the GSEA competition, I spent day and night preparing the perfect presentation, the strongest pitch, and the polishing up my written report. I aspired to win and actually thought I had a chance. However, when I arrived in Kansas City at The Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship, and started talking to the other competitors about themselves and their ventures it was clear that some were more experienced. They had achieved more and overcome a lot of challenges and obstacles. It hit me that I would not win.

As the Chinese proverb says: "A wise man learns from experience, a wiser man learns from the experience of others." Looking back now, being around all of those smart, successful, inspiring, young entrepreneurs from 27 different countries and seeing the passion and drive each one has was incredibly inspirational. Each and every one of us is facing the similar challenges and struggles in making our businesses successful. On top of that, we also have to worry about doing homework and excelling in our college educations. I took the opportunity to learn from the experiences of my peers and from the judges, and absorb as much knowledge as I could.

I urge and encourage every aspiring young entrepreneur to take advantage of every situation he/she may come across to learn and benefit. I read once that “the greatest difference between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs is that non-entrepreneurs never actually give it a try.”

So if you have something that you’re really excited to do and you're passionate about, do it and follow your dreams.

I did not win, but I did come home a winner.

Bravo Maria - we wish you continuing success.

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