world entrepreneurship forum

Thwarted by embassies! Boo! I went to Paris on Thursday to attempt to get Russian visas for Adam and I. I was unsuccessful. But, I’m a few hours away from getting all the forms this time (as far as I know atleast….) And everybody keeps taking my money! Every step has another fee, I feel like I’m greasing palms. When I run my country (HAHA) I’m going to let everyone come, no visas necessary. Or if I HAVE to have visas, I’m going to make it really clear what’s required. And not charge stupid fees. For everything.

ANYWAY

Exciting news- this weekend was the World Entrepreneurship Forum on EMLyon’s Campus. I volunteered to work the form, taking notes at the meetings. Towards the end, at one of the full group meetings, a list of recommendations that the WEF was going to make to the world was read off and the entrepreneurs were supposed to vote for them. HOWEVER, they didn’t like them and refused to vote! They practically staged a coupe and a group of women who had had a similar conversation over dinner last night voiced their own recommendations that they had come up with. The other entrepreneurs liked them a lot better so they decided to formalize theirs instead. Immediately after that meeting the six women were going to meet to do so. I “just happened” to be nearby when they were getting together to go find a room to work in and I volunteered to take notes for them at the meeting. I transcribed the recommendations they formalized, and turned it into a presentation, so they could show it to the full entrepreneur group after lunch. It was awesome seeing those women work, and I was happy with that thinking my interaction was done. BUT they made me go on stage with them when they presented and introduce myself. I said “Hi my name is Erica Hession. I am a student of the Global Entrepreneurship Program- a partnership between Babson College, EMLyon University, and Ziejiang University. I was just the note taker in this process, these women (gesturing toward them) were the masterminds.”

After that the entrepreneur that was really smitten with me, Laura the VC from Austin Texas, introduced herself, and said “She was not ‘just the note taker’. She is the future entrepreneur! Watch out for this girl!” hahaha! How great is that? I talked to her again later in the day to see what the follow up on the recommendations was and when I was leaving she said to keep in touch because she wants to hear about our adventures with the program so I got her card. I’d love to work for her!

I met this other great entrepreneur too. He has run a nonprofit environmental firm in Canada for 20 years. He started it when he was young after traveling in india for a year. He came back, tried to work for a real estate agency and quit after a year to start this company- Evergreen. He Adam and I went out for drinks that evening and he had really great stories to tell and great advice to give. I’d love to work for him too. They are working on this huge project right now converting an old brick factory into a sustainable campus with nurseries, a farmers market, classes, etc. They want it to be the “Greenest” building in the world!

All in all it was a successful weekend I’d say :D

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