CCTV America Interview: Social Media Helps Nepal Quake Relief

Facebook recently announced its users donated more than $10 million to disaster relief in Nepal. That was in just two-days. The number topped the amount pledged by the U.S. government. This is just the latest example of how social media is making it easier for people to give to charities. CCTV’s Karina Huber filed this report.
Featured in this interview is Elizabeth Ngonzi, NYU Heymen Center Adjunct Professor, explaining how social media can positively impact these social movements and fundraisers.

#WhenIWas15 Estée Lauder Inspired Me to Become an Entrepreneur!

#WhenIWas15 I loved to read and according to several journals from high school that I recently found, I particularly loved autobiographies, despite apparently not being very keen on the literature assigned to me by my English teacher. I still love autobiographies to this day, but until I found the journal, I had forgotten what an impact Estée Lauder’s story had on me. I now remember reading her eponymous book about her journey to become a successful business woman, at the helm of an international beauty empire. Interestingly I have moved several times since I first read her book at the time of its publishing (more than a couple of decades ago) and have since gone through many purges…yet I have kept Estée’s book (although I could probably have done a better job with preserving its cover).

For those of you unable to read my 15-year-old handwriting in the image above, below is what I wrote:

” The most enjoyable and thought provoking book which I have read this year is an autobiography by Estée Lauder (Estée, A Success Story). Her story is that of a self-made make-up mogul in a male dominated industry. In reading her story she became my idol and a symbol of what hard work, perseverance, and innovative ideas can achieve. This story was so significant because it was directed towards a reader such as myself who is interested in becoming an entrepreneur. Mrs. Lauder describes every step she [took] to reach her success. I was able to identify with her [pursuit] of perfection which is indeed a quality that one must possess to reach premium achievements.”

Incidentally, it was around that time that I began my first venture– a babysitting service with about six or so families, which included a steady client whose son I babysat several days (cash flow management) after school and various clients who booked me on Friday or Saturday nights at a premium (demand-based pricing).

I have since been involved in a few ventures including selling Mary Kay Cosmetics on the weekends to help me gain sales experience and supplement my first job out of undergrad, as a tech marketer. After working in Corporate America for about a decade, I founded a consulting firm which I ran for 12 years and as a social entrepreneur, most recently led the re-boot of the North American representative of a South African NGO. Beyond that I’ve also had the privilege of guiding and teaching budding entrepreneurs as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at my alma mater, Cornell University, where I had the honor of mentoring Karim Abouelnaga— the founder of Practice Makes Perfect (“an evidence-based, full-service summer school operator for K-8 schools”)– who even as a university junior demonstrated a tremendous amount of potential as an innovative social entrepreneur.

My entrepreneurial journey continues as I embark upon its next leg inspired by Estée and other great entrepreneurs, more experienced, wiser, and with a continued commitment to innovation, impact perseverance and hard work!