Interview on Social Entrepreneurship - EdAcme

Today I am interviewing Mac Sarbah, the founder of EdAcme. Mac graduated from Harvard, Columbia and Cambridge universities, and recently launched EdAcme to help young people achieve their education and entrepreneurship potential. I met Mac in a class called Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Problems in Contemporary Developing Countries at Harvard, and we bonded over our shared passion for entrepreneurship. When Mac asked me to join EdAcme, I said yes immediately because I believe in Mac’s strength, leadership, and ability to make great impacts. I am honored to be a part of his mission-driven team and to interview him today about his journey of starting a social enterprise.

On Motivation. 

Mac: Imagine growing up in a small town in rural Africa. You didn’t have electricity. You didn’t have running water. You studied with kerosene lanterns. The smoke from the burning kerosene made your eyes red and teary. You walked several miles to school every day. Three decades ago, this was my reality. To go from such humble beginnings to Columbia, Cambridge, and Harvard universities is a miracle. Honestly, I couldn’t have achieved all these without the support I have received from so many people: teachers, mentors, classmates, family, friends. This is why I want to serve and to support others. It’s a way of giving back. EdAcme comes from a drive to serve and to help people, especially young people all over the world, realize their potential. I have had the opportunity to study at some very good institutions and it’s my goal to help others achieve similar goals. This is why I have brought together like-minded people, from these institutions, to serve young people.

About EdAcme’s services.

Mac: We help young people realize their potential through university admissions, entrepreneurship, and career advancement support. Other companies in the industry mostly focus on university admissions consulting, but we want to offer more than that. We want to support many of these students and young people in their entrepreneurship pursuits while they are in school, or when they have graduated. We want to help them succeed in their careers by, also, providing career advancement support.

For instance, within our education offering, we not only help them get accepted to top institutions, but we maintain a prolonged relationship with them, by helping them build the resilience to succeed in a foreign country, with a completely different education system. In addition, we provide research project support. It’s one thing to get in and it’s another to succeed. Our goal is to, also, help prospective students get the immersive experience that can help differentiate them from the competition by giving them exchange opportunities to other countries (especially to Africa) to help them get the extracurricular experience they need to set the application aside.

In entrepreneurship support, we help them finetune their business ideas and, also, offer exchange programs with partner institutions to help them gain up-to-the-minute experience and to be on top of trends and insights on entrepreneurship. In our career advancement support, we help people professionals build the resilience and leadership skills they need to survive in a rapidly changing and multicultural work environment. We have coaches who provide resilience, leadership, and public speaking or presentation skills professionals need to accelerate their careers. We also help mid-career professionals discover and gain further skills through professional programs they need to accelerate their careers. Finally, we offer speaking engagements on a wide array of topics from entrepreneurship, education, leadership, diversity, to mention a few.

On Team Building and Finding the Right People.

Mac: I think a great idea needs a strong team to execute. The skills of team members should complement each other. I am glad that I have been able to bring together some incredibly skilled and accomplished people, from the world’s best universities and companies, to work together. We all bring different skills and capabilities to the table. The team members should believe in the vision. The vision should match their own interests and aspirations.

Goals for the Next Five Years. 

Mac: My belief is that passion alone is not enough. The ability to persevere in the face of obstacles is necessary for success in any venture. Our goal is to build a company that is able to impact the lives of many people around the world. I’m taking it one day a time, but hopefully, we can build a company that is impacting lives in different parts of the world. I’m cautiously optimistic, realizing that enthusiasm, excitement, and passion alone won’t cut it. We are going to need grit, resilience, adaptability, flexibility, and a lot of work hard. I want to build an impactful company, but I am not under any illusion as to the amount of work, determination, resilience, and patience it will take. We’ll give our best and let’s see where God takes us.

On Networking. 

Mac: People often ask me why I’m good at networking. I tell them that I’m not good at networking. I’m genuinely interested in people and their passions and stories and journeys and aspirations. I think networking sometimes operates from a “taking” mentality. I believe in “giving” to people and showing genuine interest in them and in their aspirations, not what you can get from them. I think if you are naturally a giver, without expecting anything in return, somehow, the universe, God, or whatever you believe in, has a way of giving back to you. I love people and their cultures and stories and dreams.

Read the Full Story on the Harvard Gazette. Harvard Gazette

Learn more about EdAcme at https://edacme.org/