New Orleans Entrepreneur Week spanned this year from March 25th to March 29th in multiple locations in downtown NOLA. The idea of this week is to share some of the city’s most notable entrepreneurs (as well as global entrepreneurs), and educate and connect. It is made possible by both the A.B. Freeman School of Business and The Idea Village, and featured speakers from Tulane such as Ira Solomon and Patrick Norton. The best part: it is also free!

Upon first walking into the venue, which for this day was inside the Ace Hotel, I could sense the thrilling energy. Men and women of all ages were milling around, dressed casually but professionally. The space was decorated with simple couches, plants, and lots of light. Everyone who checked me in was hospitalitable and welcoming. I felt that just because I was a student didn’t mean I wasn’t going to be taken seriously. The entrepreneurial attitude in New Orleans is very much accessible to anyone, which is probably why the city is full of life and innovative pursuits: there is no limit to who can pursue it.

I went to one speaker for my Design Thinking for Collective Impact class: a lecture called “Avoiding the Pitfalls of Social Entrepreneurship” by Lauren Siegel on Thursday, March 28. She shared tips such as celebrating success and listening to the needs of your customer base to ensure you are having an impact. I really enjoyed listening to this talk, as not only did it apply to my studies, but I personally connected with everything the speaker was saying.

I met an extremely kind teacher named Jibao He from BondFar, Inc who shared his vision with me: to connect Chinese and American students through the internet. I learned that many Chinese students are looking to learn English directly from American students, and a platform similar to the one he was describing would allow this. I can easily see how attending this conference would foster connections and educate people.

Next year, I plan on attending a greater variety of speakers and panels, and look forward to seeing how my knowledge on the topic has increased. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is a great resource for anyone studying entrepreneurship, starting their own business, or just interested in the topic. I would highly recommend it.

COVER PHOTO: New Orleans Entrepreneur Week