We asked one alumnus what he did with his GBI education at home, and he described how his time in Bloomington altered his personal strategy.
After leaving the GBI program, I felt like something changed in me. I become less dreamy and more down-to-earth when it came to business and entrepreneurship. My entrepreneurial mindset evolved and right after going back to school, I naturally started thinking differently about all aspects of my involvement on campus.
Back then, I was an active member with the Enactus team of my university and I was in charge of communication. In 2013 right after the GBI program ended, I was lucky enough to meet and talk about this experience with several new members and I met Manal and Louay. We started to get to know each other and we worked closely and formed the core team. Thanks to the skills I learned at GBI, I contributed to the feasibility study of multiple social business-oriented projects that we worked on during the whole academic year (2013-2014). I came up with this pragmatic and rigorous perspective on business while my peers, Manal and Louay, were more technically focused on the project. The skills combination was just perfect.
How did your approach to business change?
At Enactus, I did my best to reapply all the theoretical and practical concepts I learned from Kelley Faculty on the business cases I and my team were working on. Particularly, I was involved in a project that we called “Qulé”, which was dedicated to promoting quinoa plants as nutritious food to face issues of food security and climate change. It was the origin of the business idea that led us to co-found Amendy Foods, a healthy and organic food startup based in Morocco. We have been through lots of brainstorming and we needed to prepare pitches to participate in competitions and raise funds. I already have a strong natural interest in communication, and I employed all the techniques I learned at Kelley during the GBI to help my team in excelling at presentations. Classes like Business Communication were of a great benefit and the actual presentations I did in front of Kelley faculty helped me to reinforce self-confidence and public presentation skills generally. I and my team ended up winning a couple of prizes which allowed us to launch Amendy Foods in 2015. We won the 3rd Prize for Social Entrepreneurs organized by Unilever Maghreb and Enactus Morocco in early 2015 and we managed to raise funds from OCP Entrepreneurship Network along with 3 months of mentoring.
My GBI experience was so impactful. It forever changed me and my surroundings. It broadened my vision of entrepreneurship and eliminated all the misconceptions and stereotypes I used to have. I can clearly say that if I didn’t participate in this program, probably I would not have had the courage and determination to actually co-found a business, be more goal-oriented, and to keep a business open for more than two and a half years.
-Mohammed Bendaanane, alumnus ’13