Abena and Carmel used our consulting services to build a successful business model for The Arts with peace principles & policies for their intended workforce.

For 3 months, Abena and Carmel’s idea, Sistra, went through the 11th Annual cycle of the SmartPitch Challenge hosted by the City University of New York (CUNY). EOTO World was a partner with CUNY Institute of Virtual Enterprise, to influence student entrepreneurs to the apply basic human rights and culture of peace principles into their business models.

We asked the Entrepreneurs a series of questions from what they learned and they provided us with great insight on how they were impacted:

1. What motivated you to participate in the SmartPitch Challenge?

“SmartPitch was an opportunity to network with inspiring entrepreneurs, gain guidance from mentors and win startup money for our business. It gave us the opportunity to express our vision through milestones that were crafted for us to really gain a clearer understanding of what it takes to write sections of a business plan, what necessary revisions are needed when planning a business, how to deal with criticism, and the art of pitching a business idea. We gained multiple opportunities of well needed practice in these particular areas.”

2. Describe what you did. How did you start?

“We started by creating a profile and networked with others like ourselves and mentors. We completed milestone requirements by creating a one minute video pitch, an executive summary, and a slide presentation about the details of our enterprise. We then received feedback from mentors and other inspiring entrepreneurs until the final event, where we were chosen to present to SmartPitch judges.”

3. Did you have any shift(s) in perspective about your enterprise throughout the program?

“We did not experience a shift in the vision of our enterprise. The mission remains the same. However, our business model has had many shifts of perspective and continues to. How we will fund our enterprise and create working capital is something we are still exploring. As a non-profit, we would like to be around for a very long time and in order to do so we must have a strong and dependable business model. Creating one that is such has been a challenge, but we are getting closer to the solution.”

4. Each mentee had an opportunity to reach out to mentors. Who did you reach out to and why?

“We reached out to a couple of mentors that were a part of the SmartPitch mentor network, but our most active mentors were Elischia Fludd and Thomas S. Lyons. These two mentors had profiles that stood out to us and they took a very strong interest in our business and gave immediate support.”

5. How were you impacted through your mentor relationship with EOTO World?

“EOTO World has helped us think and dig deeper. Sometimes one sits on their own solution and is unaware of it. Our mentor relationship with EOTO World has helped us reveal some very needed solutions when we were experiencing difficulty during the development of our business plan.”

6. Can you identify tenants of human rights in the way your enterprise is being shaped externally and/or internally?

“Socioeconomic Equality, Community Development, Empowerment, and Environmental Sustainability are tenants of human rights that shape our enterprise. All people of any socioeconomic status should have access to the Arts programming. Empowering the youth and families of communities allows growth, prosperity, and hope to arise. It is the foundation to birthing leaders that will help with the development of the community and create solutions and actions that will help rid destructive forces in the environment.”

7. Can you identify tenants of a culture of peace in the way your enterprise is being shaped externally and/or internally?

“Communication, Respect, and Unity are important tenants of a culture of peace. Dialogue must be created within communities to begin to heal the wounds that exist and gather the masses of people that can be participants in the development of the community. Unity gives hope, strength, and dignity to the community. In order for communication and unity to occur in the community, there must be an underlying respect for the expression, identity, culture, gender, and socioeconomic status of the various people who reside within it.”

8. Now that the competition is over, what’s next for you?

“Currently, we have two fundraising campaigns, we are working on gaining a larger following, and networking with business professionals to gain more knowledge about building an enterprise and the type of people we need to establish relationships with to succeed.”