#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!

Cornell University Dyson School Event Announcement:

As a part of our Spring 2015 Africa Week celebrations, the Coalition of Pan-African Scholars welcomes you to Afropreneurship, a discussion about developing enterprises in various African countries. The event will highlight presentations from current Cornell students and will feature Elizabeth Ngonzi, MMH ’98, the CEO of Afrika Tikkun USA. Included in the event will be a question and answer session with Ms. Ngonzi and an entrepreneurial brainstorming session. This is a Dyson Women in Leadership sponsored event.

International Fundraising Congress (Netherlands) Workshop Presenter Annoucenement

Inspire. Connect. Transform. This year’s IFC programme is themed around creating inspiring connections between fundraisers, and between fundraisers and donors. It reflects the increasingly interconnected world we live in  culturally, politically and technologically. The IFC takes place from 14-17 October 2014 and brings together over 1000 delegates from 60 countries, providing them with the opportunity to network with, and learn from the brightest fundraising minds on the planet.

Featuring over 100 sessions of plenaries, workshops, masterclasses and networking events, the IFC 2014 provides opportunities for learning new fundraising skills and improving leadership skills as well as interacting with international speakers such as Bernard Ross, Liz Ngonzi and Phil Woollam.

Delegates that register before midnight UK time (GMT) on Thursday, 15 May 2014 will receive an early bird discount of £60. Visit resource-alliance.org/ifc to find out more and register today!

iSchool’s It Girls Retreat Shows High school Girls Possibility of Careers in Technology

It’s Monday afternoon, Nov. 12, and the main hallway of the iSchool is filled with unusual activity—approximately 92 high school girls from across the country, along with several of their parents, are getting ready to showcase their final projects as part of a two-day program called It Girls.

The It Girls Overnight Retreat is a slumber-party-meets-hack-a-thon organized and hosted by the iSchool. The event was introduced and kicked off by iSchool Dean Elizabeth Liddy and an inspiring keynote speech by new iSchool board member Liz Ngonzi, an expert in women and minorities in entrepreneurship, technology and leadership.

Syracuse University iSchool Event Ennouncement – BLISTS Alumni Reunion Event Features Ngonzi ’92, on Africa, Tech, and Women”

“Africa, Tech and Women: The New Faces of Development,” is the topic of this year’s keynote presentation for the School of Information Studies’ (iSchool) Orange Central/BLISTS Annual Alumni Reunion event.

Slated for Friday, November 9, the day of speakers, panel programs, and alumni-student networking features a diverse group of iSchool graduates who are visiting to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.

“Alumni bring a diverse and valuable perspective from applying their degrees in the real world and sharing how the skills and knowledge gained at the School have played out in their various careers,” noted Barbara Settel, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

The event also allows alumni the opportunity to become updated on what current students are experiencing and how far the school has come, she said. Settel noted that many alumni attended the iSchool when it existed without its current home in Hinds Hall, and without newer programs such as studies in data science, entrepreneurship and social media. “To come here and see how the school is functioning on the cutting edge, to hear students talk about their startups and attending Spring Break in Silicon Valley, you can’t put a price on that,” she acknowledged. “This event keeps alumni connected to the school, and as we extend the reputation of the school, that extends the reputation of every graduate’s degree. Being here helps them appreciate where they’ve come from, where they’ve gone to, and the value of their degree,” Settel observed.

Presenting the day’s keynote address is Elizabeth “Liz” Ngonzi (IST, B.S.,’92), who will discuss the myriad ways African women now are applying technology (including the use of social media, mobile advertising, internet connectivity and digital advocacy) to advance the continent’s development.

As founder and CEO of Amazing Taste, a values-led consulting firm, Ngonzi is an international expert on technology and development and a recognized authority on women/minorities in entrepreneurship and leadership, and how technological innovations advance causes and empower disenfranchised people.

Through her consultancy, she connects nonprofits, corporations and philanthropists to jointly achieve their strategic objectives. The firm has advised domestic and international educational institutions, gender rights organizations, healthcare foundations, political campaigns and youth development organizations, and works frequently with NGOs to advance the status of African women and girls and to improve their communities. Ngonzi also is the 2011-2012 Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, and teaches fundraising technology at New York University’s George H. Heyman Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising. Originally from Uganda, she spent 10 years in corporate marketing, sales and business consulting management, working at Digital Equipment Corporation, MICROS Systems, Inc., and Arthur Andersen.

National Girlfriends’ Networking Day Women’s Leadership Event

National Girlfriends Networking Day is a nationwide celebration of the power of building connections.

Join thousands of women around the country by attending interactive, networking events. We’ll feature a panel of renowned, diverse women leaders discussing how to plan your career path, and then taking questions via social media from nationwide participants. Featuring Liz Ngonzi, CEO of Amazing Taste LLC and NYU Adjunct Professor.

NYU Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising Joins Connect4Climate as Knowledge Partner

NYU Heyman center for philanthropy and fundraising partners with World Bank’s Connect4Climate initiative to raise awareness about climate change issues around the world.

New York University’s George H. Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising (NYUHC) is the latest educational institution to partner with the World Bank and a broad range of partners in Connect4Climate (C4C): a campaign, a competition, and a community dedicated to raising awareness about climate change issues in Africa and around the world.  The C4C global partnership initiative uses social media and the web to give voice to local stakeholders who have stories to tell about climate change.

C4C’s goal is to create a participatory open knowledge platform that engages the global community in climate change conversation to drive local action. In just nine months, C4C has created a Facebook community of nearly 300,000 followers. Across multiple social media platforms and the www.connect4climate.org site, C4C’s weekly online reach is between 4 to 6 million.

According to NYU Heyman Center’ Executive Director  Naomi Levine: “Our  faculty is in a unique position to contribute its expertise in cause marketing, digital advocacy and fundraising, to help advance solutions to this key issue, affecting our planet and future survival.  The C4C partnership will also enable us to provide access to our distance learning courses designed to help nonprofits and activists better engage their supporters.” Upcoming Heyman Center online courses are Always On/Always There: Leveraging Mobile Applications and Engaging Supporters, taught online by faculty member, Elizabeth Ngonzi (C4C partnership liaison) on Wednesdays from 10:00am-12:30pm  ET, June 6 – June 27; and Fundraising Concepts and Practices, available May 21 – August 10 (10 sessions individually arranged), accessible to anyone around the world via Internet.

Lucia Grenna, C4C Program Manager, sees the partnership with NYUHC as a vehicle to provide educators, students and activists around the world with access to critical strategies and tactics that will help them  activate policy makers and increase stakeholder engagement in a meaningful manner, so as to lead help address climate change issues more effectively.  Other U.S. educational institutions participating in C4C include: Columbia University Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence-Climate Co-Lab, and Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

Hotelie Prompts Nonprofits Worldwide to Think More Entrepreneurially

When Elizabeth Ngonzi, MMH ’98, was 10, she traveled to Copenhagen with her mother to attend the United Nations’ second World Conference on Women, a gathering of thousands working for equality, development and peace. This is when her love for activism began. Liz Ngonzi has devoted herself to helping others organize their stories and digital ecosystem to accomplish their dreams and goals.

Local Climate, Global Change : Development Communication in a Social Media Landscape

Social media has flattened the information landscape, allowing more communities to have access to information and increasingly more voices to be heard, especially youth from the global South.

Connect4Climate, the global online community that cares about climate change, hosts a session bringing together social media experts, journalists, academics and other communicators to debate how best to engage the widest audience from all corners of the world and raise the bar on climate change discourse and action.

With more than a quarter million followers, Connect4Climate shows that young people everywhere are hungry for information and eager to get involved.

How can this online energy and engagement be put to best use? How can we leverage the tools available to harness more collective intelligence? What is the role of citizen journalism? How can local climate experiences best contribute to global change?

SXSW 2012 Forecast: Let’s Hear It For The Girls

This panel provides a rare glimpse into the multitude of ways African women are applying technology to advance Africa’s development. The panel aims to dispel the myths about African women as breeders and victims — incapable of participating in their own continent’s development, by showcasing contributions they are making in the technology field and providing insights into how they are using technology to raise awareness about, mobilize campaigns against and address human rights violations.

Speakers: Deborah Ensor, Ebele Okobi, Isis Nyong’o, Liz Ngonzi, TMS Ruge

Fundraising Expert, Elizabeth Ngonzi Provides Key Tips for Nonprofits

Since 2001, Elizabeth Ngonzi, founder and CEO of Amazing Taste, LLC has used her marketing expertise and social media to help organizations develop and manage strategic alliances, produce events and secure fundraising through social media. Ngonzi’s clients have included the United Nations, the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and more.  Presently she also teaches a popular course on online fundraising strategies at New York  University. Rolling out spoke with Ngonzi about how she manages to keep nonprofits thriving and fulfilling their purpose.

NYU Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising Newsletter: Elizabeth Ngonzi Faculty Spotlight

One might say that Elizabeth Ngonzi was fated to have a career as a global fundraising consultant to good causes. Ngonzi, who is teaching a course for the Center this summer on the use of smartphones and wireless technologies in fundraising, was born in Uganda, the daughter of a diplomat in the Ugandan Mission to the United Nations. 

Prendismo Collection: Liz Ngonzi States Confronting and Solving Problems Makes You A Stronger Entrepreneur

It is the 21st century and most countries allow freedom and opportunity for all races and sexes to achieve any goal they set out for themselves. We see this as women have taken up senior roles within large corporations. But we still have a long way to go, And one Summit that has shed some light on How we can IS: the African Women’s Leadership Summit that took place in Kenya.

Joining us in studio today is international speaker, Elizabeth Ngonzi, who spoke at the summit. Ngonzi is also the CEO of a non-profit organization Afrika Tikkun in the USA. This organization invests in the development of disadvantaged children from early infancy through young adulthood and into the world of work.