For the past three years I have been waking up every single day for one reason. I drag myself out of bed and I stay late at night in the office for the same reason – what many might see as a deadly routing, for me, is a pleasure!
In June 2015, I kicked-off my entrepreneurship journey. At the beginning of the month, I shifted my career path from customer financial support to startups support. I still remember the day I got introduced to the real concepts of “entrepreneurship” and “startups,” the concepts I had read about in my Public Administration books a while back. I can still remember the poker face I had when my Director briefed me about the center I was about to start working in as part of my curriculum, its mission, vision and more. That day, my eyes sparkled as she told me more about the startups the center was hosting and their aspirations. Back then, I could not fathom how a fistful of people could change tens and hundreds of lives.
Ever since, I have been supporting startups and inspiring young entrepreneurs to pursue their business dreams. From the doodled ideas they had in their college campuses to live product launches. To date, I have processed more than 170 startup applications, read about smart business models, accepted brilliant solutions, rejected unscalable ones, bursted in tears for the many startups that succeeded, and cried with those who failed. In more than one occasion, I actually forgot I was the competition organizer and felt more like a team-member from the winning startup, setting off with them on a new journey to take their abstract ideas into viable businesses!
By June this year, I moved up to a global level of impact. I worked hard, played, lived, and encountered some of the most brilliant Lebanese students scale their startups. During a 6-weeks period, I witnessed six startups thrive and pivot tens of times, for one simple reason: to impact more lives and change the world. Yes, to change the world! Today, I can proudly say I am part of an organization that is leading a generation to change the world, one challenge at a time. We got ten challenges down, and more solutions are yet to come.
Changing the world has never be a piece of cake, that’s for certain. Our global societies are drowning in all types of challenges and issues. So how can we fix them? All it needs is that one brilliant idea and a methodology to execute it, one like that of the Hult Prize. At Hult Prize we strongly believe that the only available way for us to counter all the accumulated challenges of lived eras is through the generation of impact-centered, yet market-driven AND profit-minded businesses. You read it right. All you and I need to do is to generate businesses for good! Our model has proven for the past ten years that this is doable and that this can and is changing the world. How? Just check our previous $1,000,000 prize winners like Aspire Food Group, Sweet Bites, and Tembo.
Waking up early in the morning has never been an easy task for the night person I am. Dragging myself out of my comfortable bed has never been a ritual I wanted to repeat every day. Staying late at office was never a condition I would like to sign myself up to. As of June, I came to a realization that my early rising is no longer an issue, that sleeping is not the only comforting thing on this planet, and that working hours no longer counts. I paused. I reflected on these thoughts for a moment. And I realized that leading a generation to change the world is a mission you take on yourself before taking on others. It is a true vision and mission that become integrated with yours. It is about you challenging yourself before challenging others. It is about you stepping out of your comfort zone to comfort hundreds of lives around you. It is about you being a global impact pioneer, all starting from your community. It is about you forgetting to be self-centered and getting a reality check of how challenging the world is for millions of people around the globe. Do you now get why I hate my job?