At EO, we strive to support and educate student entrepreneurs as they develop their businesses. Our Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for these students who actively run a business. But this is only one step in the process. These students are first mentored by EO member leaders, who develop relationships with those student entrepreneurs chosen at the local level. Derrick Jackson, GSEA Program Manager, says, “This is where students find a lot of value because they’re learning from experience entrepreneurs who’ve been in a position where they (the students) want to go.”
Ritesh Marwadi, GSEA finalist and owner of We Fear Silence, an event management company in Kathmandu, Nepal, shared the highlights of his GSEA experience:
“GSEA has been like a power booster in my professional life. When I won the local competition in Nepal and then traveled to India for the semi-finals in 2013, I didn’t know yet what amazing experiences I would be exposed to. My like-minded peers had already surpassed goals one could only imagine, running start-up businesses that made millions of rupees. Seeing this for the first time inspired me to be the best in whatever I chose to do in the future and taught me that the gap between dreams and reality could be small, if I worked passionately toward a goal.”
“Being a part of GSEA also helped me understand business wasn’t just about money; it was a combination of amazing connections, building public relations, learning lessons through successes and failures, and much more. Although I didn’t make it to the “Top 10” in the semi-finals that year, I wasn’t sad. In fact, it made me work harder and implement what I had learned, so I could be a part of GSEA the next year.”
“Luckily, I won again the next year in Nepal, which gave me a ticket to compete in Washington, DC. I waited anxiously for the moment I would meet the top 40 competitors from around the globe and begin forming friendships with them. GSEA gave us the opportunity to share, listen and learn with each other. This, alone, made the trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and seeing each student’s hard work and dedication has changed the way I look at entrepreneurship.”
“I’ll never forget listening to guest speaker, Mike Curtain of DC Central Kitchen, share his story. Since I’m in the food industry, as well, I learned a lot of great ways I could reduce cost and still provide great quality to my customers. I’ve continued to maintain friendships with entrepreneurs I met in Washington, DC, and I’ll actually be meeting them soon in London, where we’ll discuss potential business opportunities. I can tell that these will be lifelong friends and business connections!”
“I would like to thank GSEA for making us better entrepreneurs and people; the guidance we received in that short amount of time will continue to guide my career path through life.”
Look for EO GSEA spotlights on the Octane blog every Wednesday in September – and check out our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, flickr and Instagram pages for additional stories, pictures, quotations and more! To see innovative business tips from three GSEA competitors, click here.