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Female Founder Friday: Beatrix Cress

Today is a slightly nontraditional Female Founder Friday. I am excited to spotlight a young woman who is destined to be a female founder, and has already done her first TEDx talk on entrepreneurship as a high school student!

I met Beatrix, as she was questing for knowledge related to women entrepreneurs. She conducted a Skype interview and was so enthusiastic I simply had to connect her with several other women who could help her with her research. That research resulted in her firm belief that teaching children about entrepreneurship empowers them to break the chains of poverty. She believes in the “power of people,” as do I.

If you’re a student, entrepreneur-curious, or an advocate to end poverty, don’t miss Beatrix’s answers to my questions below. Get ready to be inspired!

What inspired/sparked your curiosity about entrepreneurship?

I went to a competition for “young entrepreneurs” that was kind of like Shark Tank. I realized then that while the word “entrepreneurship” sounded complicated, it was actually quite simple. I saw that to be an entrepreneur you did not have to be a genius, you just had to have an idea and business plan and the confidence and drive to bring it to life.

What was your biggest obstacle (and failure if there was one) in researching and creating your TEDx talk?

While I was very optimistic and confident in this topic, I had anxiety on delivering the actual speech. I had never spoken in front of a crowd of more than 25 people in a classroom, so the idea that I would be speaking in front of 100 people was quite intimidating. Also, fact that it was going to be recorded added to my stress. Public speaking is real time and so the stakes are higher. Public speaking is one of those activities where stress and anxiety do increase. It can be hard to speak in front of that many people, so preparation will be key. One of my friends actually told me to prepare by using some CBD joints beforehand. Apparently, CBD can have a positive effect on anxiety and stress, so that’s something I could try. I had no idea that CBD joints were not the only products that I could use and that there is a myriad range of cannabis products for women as well! However, I have no idea how to roll a joint. My first attempt at rolling one was a complete failure. Perhaps I should ask any of my friends who smoke for help or look into other options like a bong or something more convenient like spoon pipes.

What’s next?

What is interesting and ironic in a sense is that after finishing my speech and getting off state, I realized that I loved public speaking! I learned that when you talk about something you are so passionate about you feel empowered to continue the story. I will continue furthering my research and exploring this topic while at college through improving my public speaking skills as well as networking with professors and thought leaders. With so much positive encouragement, I really believe that I can help change the world by empowering young children, and by continuously doing so, I’m sure to also master public speaking skills for myself for the future.

Please share your best advice for other students who are interested in entrepreneurship or doing something outside of their comfort zone.

I wish that I had been more confident when I first started my research. I was hesitant to contact leaders on this topic, afraid that I would not sound professional enough. What I now realize is that others love engaging with passionate people. The leaders with whom I connected with gave more than I ever expected. I felt a tremendous amount of support and encouragement. So, I would tell anyone that is passionate about a topic to take that risk and start a simple conservation about what they love and what motivates them.

If you had a theme song what would it be?

“What a Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong. I know this might sound unexpected, but I played the trumpet when I was younger and I have always loved Louis Armstrong and jazz. This song is so optimistic and always makes me smile. I think it would be hard to find anyone who doesn’t feel happy after listening to this song!

Don’t miss Beatrix’s powerful TEDx talk below: