Ana María Arias

Where Ana is from

Armenia, Quindio, Colombia

 

Interview

What was your dream when you were a kid? What was the reason?

I wanted to be a lawyer to fight injustice.

 

What was your dream when you were 18 years old? What was the reason?

I wanted to be a successful finance person focused in international relations, to travel the world, understand the world that surround us, and take advantage of my positions to help my country.

 

What made you start thinking about social entrepreneurship/social enterprises? When was that?

When I was working for a bank in Colombia I realized that I wasn’t helping people, and that the nonsense of the system put barriers to people who wanted to grow personally and economically, rather than help them in a good way. In the other hand, my volunteer work as a financial literacy trainer gave me a lot of satisfaction, and the response from the people I was helping made me realize that I wanted to be successful but with a social focus where I can make the difference even if it is small to people with hearts of goal, excellent ideas, and strong motivation to accomplish their dreams.

 

How much do you think social entrepreneurs play an important role in the world? 

Social entrepreneurship plays a very important role, because there are a lot of good people with awesome ideas that could help us all and the planet be better and las longer in the future. A social entrepreneur does not think about themselves, they always think about a greater good, motivating their families, communities, countries, or planet to be better.

But this can only be accomplished with good basis and a solid structure to develop great ideas to generate change.

 

What would you say to future social entrepreneurs / those who are interested in social entrepreneurs?

The most the better. We have the opportunity not only to change our present, but to shape and build a sustainable and responsible future. If we are more, ideas can evolve faster and stronger to build the foundations of a better future for all.

Good people will prevail over bad.

What is your favorite quote? Who said that quote?

“What are you going to do about it?” – Women in leadership

 

Who Ana is

Ana is such a cute and lovely person. She smiles all the time delivering smiles to the faces of anyone around her. Ana is not like a coin — she has no “heads” nor “tails.” What you see through her is who she really is, nothing else. Her behaviors reflect her insight and she is 100% transparent.

I love to talk to Ana, especially about what she is passionate about, because you can see it fully in her smile. She puts her excitement, positive feelings and love into the conversations when she tells me about what she likes. It really makes me happy. Yes, Ana is a powerful person and filled with a lot of energy.

What I just described to you is about Ana herself, but she gives energy to others as well. When Manon, Taliey and I practiced our presentation for Musana Carts, which is a project that we worked on at Hult International Business School, Ana was in the audience and she came to me and said, “You know what to say and you already have words inside of you. You can be more confident! I know you can do it!” Ana’s  words encouraged me and cheered me up. It was such valuable support and valuable feedback. Her words actually lifted me up to a new level of confidence.

Ana is someone who takes all projects seriously.  She is strong enough not to compromise on work ethic. She is strong-willed and her powerful words persuade others because what she says logically makes sense. She gets to the point and she knows what to say. Ana is incredibly smart.

Ana’s hospitality, sweetness and energy are very remarkable. Again, she is such a lovely person.

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Awesome Episode

We had an After Party after the graduation of Hult International Business School last August. When we met at some point at the party, Ana gave a present to me. She told me that it was popular in Colombia. It was so sweet of her, just as the candy was. I liked the candy but also the case that it came in. It was so unique and I liked to have a “Colombian thing.”

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What I also remember about Ana is that she always came say hi to me, giving me a hug, saying “You make me happy every time I see you.” I love to make my friends and people around me smile and laugh and in my life I devote myself to it. Ana knows it and experiences it. Her smile and lovely attitude made me happy every time I saw her too.

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The Power of MSE

What Ana is holding is a symbol called “go-en(ご縁)”, which means ‘fate’, ’destiny’ and ’special tie.’

I believe that it is meant to be that we met in San Francisco! I studied Social Entrepreneurship with Ana for a year, saying “We will make the world a better place.” I would love to spend the rest of my life with MSEs (Master of Social Entrepreneurship; my classmates) until the very day I die. They have already completely changed my life.

At the same time, however, I also think that we should not be together all the time, because that is not the reason why we learned Social Entrepreneurship. That is not how we will deliver the impact we want to give to society and to the world.

I think MSEs are like dandelions. We were seeded at the first day at Hult and we bloomed on our graduation day. Our mission is that we spread all over the world like dandelions and seed the future, the next generation, from each place where each of us has landed.

本当にありがとう(Honto ni Arigato-); Thank you very very much for everything!! The world needs you! Let’s make the world a better place together!!

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