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Speech Meeting

Speech Meeting

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Published by Vicky Shi

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Published by: Vicky Shi on Apr 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Business leaders break stereotypes, change world
 Five panelists encourage young businesswomen to pursue social entrepreneurship
By Vicky ShiThe world can be hideous. Poverty, AIDS, genocide, hunger, dirty water, and unsanitaryliving conditions – these are some of the blemishes. The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population makes up 5 percent of global income, according to Globalissues.org. Today, the most prominent challenge is providing education and resources to enable change.The Philanthropic Business Panel at the eighth annual Harvard Undergraduate Women inBusiness Intercollegiate Convention encouraged business leaders to dispel negative stereotypesand change the world through social innovation.The five panelists come from various backgrounds, but they share one desire: to useentrepreneurial skills to make a difference.These leaders defy the perception of business owners as greedy and wealth-obsessed.They assert that integrating financial principles with philanthropic goals is possible. “At one point you can have it all: shared value, working for profit, and making a difference,” saidClotilde Dedecker, co-founder of Circle of Women Inc., which is a nonprofit that promoteswomen’s education in developing countries.Some panelists enact global change as a side job. AlthoughKelly Peeler is a full-time investment banker, she is also theexecutive director of Business Across Borders, a nonprofit thattargets high potential entrepreneurs to spur economic growth in the Middle East. One audiencemember challenged Peeler to explain how she reconciled the negative reputation of banking withher philanthropic pursuits. “Banks will only change if people are there to change them frominside,” Peeler said.
At one point youcan have it all.”-Clotilde Dedecker 
Vicky Shi, “Social Entrepreneurship,” Pg. 2
Panelists offer advice
All the panelists encouraged the audience to pursue social ventures. “Just start doingsomething,” said Peeler, who started her nonprofit as an undergraduate student at HarvardUniversity. “Use resources and leverage connections.”The panelists urged the audience to shatter self-doubt. “Don’t be afraid to fail.Perfectionism is self-torture,” said Bret Carr, partnership specialistat Ashoka’s Youth Venture. “Surround yourself with people whosay, ‘Yes, but.’”The panelists closed the session by differentiating between“doing well” and “doing good.” “Anyone can get rich,” said AmyBlais, Managing Director of Development for Teach for America. “But where will you have themost impact? What brings you the most joy?”The panelists are people who diverted from the usual path of finding a job, getting rich,and settling down. Instead, they disrupted the status quo to enact change. “This panel reallyopened my eyes to the potential we all have as social entrepreneurs,” said senior accountingmajor Elaine Hui.Perhaps other attendees will be inspired to take the same route as the panelists.###“Don’t be afraid tofail. Perfectionism isself-torture.”- Bret Carr 
SEO: Successful entrepreneur offers adviceSuccessful entrepreneur encourages creating social ventures
Co-founder of Circle of Women offers advice to students to change the world 
By Vicky ShiFor students who want to make a difference in the world, the first step may seem out oreach. As co-founder of the nonprofit Circle of Women, she offers advice on how to translate philanthropic goals into a successful organization.Dedecker led the Philanthropic Business Panel at theeighth annual Harvard Undergraduate Women in BusinessIntercollegiate Convention to encourage businesswomen to pursue social innovation.She studied postcolonial history and literature at HarvardUniversity, which is where Circle of Women began. The nonprofit has now expanded to 14chapters across the nation. Circle of Women promotes women’s education in developingcountries by building and renovating all-girl schools in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, andIndia. Dedecker also manages operations for another nonprofit called Joan Hornig Philanthropyis Beautiful, a designer jewelry line that donates profits to the charity of the purchaser’s choice.Every organization starts with an idea. “Find something you love, and make it count,”Dedecker says. “A business won’t succeed if it’s not something you’re passionate about.”Furthermore, every organization needs funding to grow and make an impact.Entrepreneurs must convince others that their organization is worth the investment. Set a long-term plan. Above all, be genuine, or investors won’t want to help you,” Dedecker says.(more)
Clotilde Dedecker, successfulentrepreneur, offers advice to aspiringsocial innovators.
Photo source: Circle of Women website

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