Ambassador Marks was speaking on Sunday at the Elaine Bryan Foundation’s annual Inspirational Luncheon & Awards in Atlanta Georgia.
She told the over 300 attendees including scholarship awardees, that “There is no better way to prepare for the world of the 21st century, whether you aspire to work for a large company, start your own business, go into academia or to public service, than through cultivating your skills in entrepreneurship.”
The Jamaican Ambassador who herself can be considered a serial entrepreneur, and is best known for creating the Paymaster Online System, explained that “the emphasis of the entrepreneurial mindset is not on starting businesses. Rather it's on the development of skills; It's not what you do, it's how you think,” she said.
“The characteristics of the entrepreneurial mindset are: Creativity, Resourcefulness, Courage, resilience and Passion ... that set of attitudes, skills and behaviors that you need succeed academically, personally and professionally. These include: initiative and self-direction, risk-taking, flexibility and adaptability, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving. Other definitions include the ability to see opportunities, marshal resources and create value,” Ambassador Marks declared.
“The skills apply equally to students who want to develop for-profit companies or not-for-profits (or social ventures) or work inside established organizations. And the irony is that traditional employers are telling recruiting agencies and colleges that they value these skills in candidates who are applying for jobs that might otherwise appear to not be entrepreneurial. Employers recognize that the innovative spirit, agility, resourcefulness and self-awareness that our students possess are valued in the marketplace,” she said.
“You see, ideas are not unique, it’s who act first and best, and have the courage and skills to persevere. Today it is becoming more and more improbable to compete and build financial wealth in any career without the skills a good education provides.”
“I am encouraging all the young people here today to embrace the pursuit of formal education. I am also encouraging everyone here today to continuously pursue a life of learning... read, be curious... be like a child in always asking ‘what is that?’ what are you doing” what causes that”? What, What, What, never goes out of style.
Ambassador Marks commended Dr. Elaine Bryan, as President and founder, for undertaking the initiative of establishing this Foundation.
A total of two scholarships were awarded. One to Nina Qin who ranked in the top ten of her class and attends Georgia Tech and the other to Gabriel Davis, a North Spring High School Senior who hopes to study technology and Web design.
Among the other inspirational speakers were: Captain Barrington Irving, the youngest and first person of colour to fly solo around the world; Attorney at law and Philantrophist Paula Kerr-Jarrett and CEO of Golden Krust Mr. Lowell Hawthorne.
Also in attendance was Jamaica’s Honourary Consul in Atlanta Mrs Jewel Scott:
- Countries: Jamaica