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Kevin Smiley, MBA
Founder, SuraiTea Inc. - Ottawa, ON, Canada

Kevin Smiley

As a recent 2016 MBA Graduate and founder of SuraiTea Inc., I was invited to be a delegate at the One Young World Summit by the MBA program at uOttawa’s Telfer School of Management. My greatest lesson from the summit was found in the speeches by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus. Mr. Yunus was so passionate about the importance of being a job creator rather than a job seeker. He discussed the importance of social businesses in our world and acknowledged that it can be difficult sometimes to resist the temptation to seek and/or take investment in the beginning of a business. He said that if you can be patient and reinvest the profits from the business back into growth, in the long run, you will have a larger business which is controlled by only you. That is what allows you to maximize the social good you want to create with your business because you avoid any outside pressure from investors or lenders to distribute to them the profits. My social business SuraiTea Inc. is a tea packing and tea retail social enterprise that hires refugees to package and sell tea. We are quite small and only 6 months old but showing lots of promise. I found it very inspiring to hear from some other delegates at the summit who have very large social businesses. When talking to them, I felt like I could almost see the future when I heard that they began much the same way SuraiTea has and now they have large social businesses with large positive social impacts.

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