I look at social entrepreneurship as a means of helping people help themselves and to bring positive change that impacts one’s community.
When Kamelia Lechani was 17, she co-founded a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of social entrepreneurship among young people in her native Morocco.
Now 26, and pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree at BSU, Kamelia is seeking to continue her work in this emerging field.
Social entrepreneurship involves start-up companies that are designed to address or fund possible solutions to social, cultural or environmental issues.
“I look at social entrepreneurship as a means of helping people help themselves and to bring positive change that impacts one’s community,” Kamelia said.
These goals can be accomplished through education, art, activism and other methods, she added. “I’m not looking for one specific area, but it must fall under the umbrella of entrepreneurship.”
The globetrotting student spent her first two high school years in Morocco, but earned her diploma from a South African school.
Kamelia, who speaks four languages, has been involved with several international organizations, and at 19, was selected to travel to Canada to attend the inaugural Mastercard Foundation Youth Think Tank, a research group that trains and mentors young people to conduct research, collect evidence, and document youth needs, challenges, and aspirations. She was also the youngest person chosen to take part in the professional entrepreneurship fellowship at Michigan State University.
These opportunities took Kamelia to several countries, allowing her to see up close how people interested in helping others can do so by founding a nonprofit organization or starting a business where altruism is more important than the bottom line.
Her travels brought her to Massachusetts, and when it was time to select a graduate school, she chose BSU. Kamelia is also studying finance, along with her MBA. “I’m really interested in business, including analytics and investment in general,” she said.
Spreading the word about social entrepreneurship isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. “You can train people, but a week is not enough. It’s all about finding the needs, designing a solution and trying to have that solution bring about real change for a whole community,” she said.
After earning her MBA, Kamelia hopes to find a post abroad where she can put to work all that she’s learned so far in her busy, productive life.