December 13, 2020 / Source: The Bizz USA
By Haarika Kalahasti; Edited by Adya Kumar
Although COVID-19 has negatively impacted many small businesses, individuals have begun to step up to promote change. Another organization that emerged during this pandemic is EntrepreYOUship.
EntrepreYOUship is a project that aims to equip Gen Z with the skills needed to be successful and help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset. This project was created by Naomi Porter, a 16-year-old serial entrepreneur from Los Angeles. She’s had experience starting her very first business at the young age of 11, aiming to provide an affordable and necessary spice kit for adventurers, and starting a virtual tutoring organization at the age of 14. This more recent project, which first was cultivated by Naomi’s imagination in October of 2020, “ties” her life together by helping her reach her larger goal of spreading the beauty of entrepreneurship, as she believes anyone can become an entrepreneur. Naomi first created EntrepreYOUship as a passion project for her Girl Scout Gold Award in late 2019 but further developed it when the pandemic hit, as many small businesses were struggling and new ones were also being created. “It opened the door to more opportunities and connections for my organization, which I find great!” Naomi said.
Currently, EntrepreYOUship targets teenagers and people of GenZ. Naomi admiringly says, “they have the fire and have the advocacy. I say, let’s put that fire and passion into entrepreneurship, and create social change”. As part of their program, EntrepreYOUship selects teen panelists, who have experience with establishing their own business, to speak on their processes and stories of different stages of their business or idea. To accomplish their goal of creating more entrepreneurs, EntrepreYOUship also teaches students about the basics of entrepreneurship, allows them to create their own business idea, and receives start-up funding. This funding is not guaranteed to all participants, but everyone competing in the pitches have an equal opportunity to receive funding. To provide such funding and free entrepreneurship education to these students, the project has partnered with Babson College, the Boys and Girls Club of LA, and other organizations.
If interested in joining these classes, reach out to their Instagram account for sample plans and other helpful materials! EntrepreYOUship will be there to support her businesses anytime, so feel free to reach out!
Although the organization started before COVID-19 hit, Naomi says that the pandemic actually had a positive effect. “I originally planned to do hands-on and in-person learning for classes and keep it local, but when COVID hit, I feared that I would lose participants and partnerships. But when we made the transition to Zoom, we were able to expand the platform. It was a ‘blessing in disguise’!,” Naomi says. When asked for advice Naomi would give to aspiring entrepreneurs, she stated, “when things don’t go right, then go left. You should try to do something different and things nobody is doing. Most importantly, this should be something you are strongly passionate about. It’s alright to fail, you’re going to fail at one point or another. You just have to get back up and pivot.” These words of wisdom are words that those with the potential to create an impact on the world, follow. Naomi’s passion for entrepreneurship and her initiative to take charge in her community is something a world needs more of, and it’s impressive to see young leaders like Naomi Porter make a difference!