In an effort to inspire students, Dickinson Community’s Entrepreneurship Learning Community (ELC) invited a local entrepreneur to share his experiences in the world of business.
Dan Mori, founder of the Elmira-based recruitment agency Employment Solutions, spoke in the Old University Union Thursday night to a room full of potential student entrepreneurs about his own rise to success.
“Entrepreneurship is what drives the world’s economic growth,” said Nathaniel Kiff, one of the organizers of the event and a sophomore majoring in management. “Every Fortune 500 company had to start with someone, and that someone is an entrepreneur.”
Mori told students about his experiences in starting, running and acquiring businesses, and the lessons he learned throughout. His talk covered topics from advice on how to fire a partner’s aunt, to the keys to getting into an entrepreneurial enterprise.
“I know you hear it all the time, but I swear it’s not a cliche: You need to know why you want to get into the business,” Mori said. “Why you want to do it, and it can’t be about the dollars and cents; it has to be something rooted in you. Or when the tough time comes — and it will come — it’ll be knocked right out of you.”
Mori attributed this success to being open to criticism, creating a positive environment for his workers and keeping ethically sound.
“I’m going to build a company that people love coming to work at. They can come and pursue a passion and love work every day,” he said. “When you build your company, win with your people. You gotta lose with your people, too, but let them know their efforts are the ones building your company with you.”
The event was part of the fledgling Entrepreneurship Learning Community, which is a 30-person living/learning community in Dickinson’s Johnson Hall that was started in the fall 2013 semester. The ELC serves to elicit dialogue and ideas about business and entrepreneurship.
“If people who are all interested in entrepreneurship live together, it’s easier for them to talk, brainstorm and come up with new ideas,” said ELC vice president Joseph Lee, a freshman majoring in computer science.
Kiff said he invited Mori for his acumen in the community’s specialization.
“Dan wants to touch on his experiences and teach the attendees about what he views is extremely vital to entrepreneurship,” Kiff said. “I chose to do this through Dickinson’s ELC program because it is a brand-new residence module that consists of approximately 30 students who have a strong desire to learn about entrepreneurship.”
Kevin Dutton, a member of ELC, said he found the event helpful.
“I thought the presentation was really insightful,” said Dutton, a junior majoring in political science. “It was nice to have a successful entrepreneur get up there and just tell his story; it was much more personal than reading off of a PowerPoint like a lot of people do. As someone with potential business ideas myself, it was really nice to see that there are CEOs out there who remain dedicated to encouraging the art of entrepreneurship.”