DUBAI: Christine Souffrant, CEO and Founder of Vendedy in New York, and winner of Clinton Global Initiative, made a passionate plea to young people to seek out opportunities to make a difference to society and the world.
Addressing the Canadian University Dubai on ‘A Lesson in Social Entrepreneurship’, Christine, who is currently the US Finalist for “The Venture” Global Competition, spoke mainly about Vendendy, a startup that positions itself as the first mobile bidding marketplace for street artisans.
Vendedy allows artisans globally to upload photos of their work onto online galleries via mobile technology, await consumers to bid on their work and receive payment via SMS once the order is delivered. In partnership with IBM and affiliates of the Clinton Global Initiative, Christine has thus launched a global e-commerce platform for the rural remote poor.
Quoting the examples of the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Malala, Dylan Mehelingam and many others, she said all these persons had dared to be bold and innovative, and pursued a dream with a passion.
“When I launched Vendedy six months ago, I had no money; but I had passion. I had an idea to create a new movement in street vending. At first, my idea was rejected by many. But in the end persistence paid, and now I have enough funding and overwhelming support. My goal is to bring together 100,000 vendors from across the globe.
“Vendedy is honouring the old traditions of the past and changing our perspectives on street vending. Empowering a global network of street artisans via phone app technology has never been done before and it is our hope that they say that we are truly ‘Disrupting the Norm’ with our efforts.”
Christine has been one of the most amazing young minds of today and an inspiration to many. She has met the Clintons, President Obama, Mohammed Yousuf, Jimmy Kimmel, and other prominent business leaders.
She is a Haitian American entrepreneur with 7 years of business management experience, 6 years of international study in over 29 countries, and 2 years of banking & finance expertise. As Managing Director of Startup Grind Dubai, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, she works with dozens of leading CEOs within the Middle East and around the world. She has spoken on leadership, disruptive entrepreneurship and tech social impact innovation at conferences in Trinidad, Haiti, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, New York, San Francisco, LA and Miami.