This month, we’ll be engaging in an open dialogue that asks the question, “What does social entrepreneurship look like within our global EO community and beyond?” Many of our members already have dedicated their personal and professional lives to social entrepreneurship, filling social and environmental needs around the world.
THE EO BLOG
Tagged: project octane
They say in business, you don’t pick your purpose— your purpose picks you. That’s certainly true for EO Vancouver’s David Katz, a 2014 EO Global Citizen of the Year Award winner who’s incentivizing people in impoverished communities to recycle plastic and improve their lives.
In the December issue of Octane, EO’s award-winning member magazine, we spotlighted Nick Friedman, an EO Central Florida member and co-founder/president of College Hunks Hauling Junk, the largest junk-removal and moving service in the U.S. In two years, Nick turned a fun business idea into a national brand, thanks to his innovative approach to marketing and willingness to try new things.
In all corners of the world, entrepreneurs are playing an integral role in the development of communities, economies and industries. And it all starts with engagement. For Rosemary Tan, a member of EO Malaysia and EO’s Global Chairman, the art of engaging has helped her find success and significance in business and beyond. In this featured interview, Rosemary shares the highs and lows of her entrepreneurial journey, the value of EO leadership and how through engagement, she continues to find new value in herself, her business and her life.
Your family has played—and continues to play—a major role in your life, encouraging you to get the most out of everything you do. How have they contributed to your success?
RT: I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for my family. I am the oldest of six siblings, and am blessed to have everyone so close by; we stay in touch regularly and meet every Sunday for a three-generation dinner. My grandma taught me how to seize every opportunity and ‘taste’ everything in life at least once. My dad, who was a successful entrepreneur, taught me the value of hard work and that experience is the best MBA you can get. And my mom, who’s a paraplegic, taught me the power of perspective and to always lend a helping hand. I am truly blessed for the strong foundation my family has given me, as well as the many lessons they’ve provided over the years. My family inspires me to engage the world every day to see what it has in store.
By Jim Small, an EO Arizona member and managing director of Sante International
When faced with challenges, people often say, “When it rains, it pours.” In my time as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned to carry an umbrella around because the setbacks that happen on a daily basis can oftentimes seem like a torrential downpour. Like my EO peers, I embrace hardships and see them as opportunities to learn and grow. They make me who I am. And if you meet them head on, if you embrace them, you’ll discover what you’re truly made of. A few years ago, I faced a challenge that shook me to the core. Forget the downpour— I wound up in a personal tsunami.
A Storm before the Hurricane
After running a successful startup for three years, I decided to kick into hyper-growth mode and franchise my property management business. Although it had been posting consistent profits, it was time to take it up a notch. I decided to follow the textbook formula I learned in business school. I added franchise talent to my sales team, raised capital to support our upcoming volume of business and filled out the necessary paperwork to expand the franchise nationally. But about a year into the ramp up, we had only sold four franchises and spent well more than US$2.5 million. We had hit a dead end.