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Johana Muriel is a Colombian national residing in the US for over 18 years. She works as an independent consultant specializing in economic development. In 2020, she became a mentor for EforAll Roxbury after being inspired by the organization’s mission.

 

What made you want to become a mentor?

I had extra time to give, and I wanted to find ways to be involved in the community in Boston. I help and work a lot with organizations or companies, but I don’t work directly with individuals, so the idea of working closely with entrepreneurs, supporting them directly, and building a relationship seemed super interesting to me.

What is your favorite part of being an EforAll mentor?

I enjoy meeting with entrepreneurs and being inspired by their energy. I’m always in awe of their commitment and dedication. I appreciate having a team of mentors to collaborate with, making it more feasible for me to be engaged every week. Sometimes, I can’t make a call, but I take comfort knowing that the entrepreneur won’t be left alone. Additionally, I can build on the ideas of other mentors, so I don’t feel solely responsible for helping. It creates a really nice sense of community.

What do you think makes EforAll special?

EforAll validates that we are all capable learners who need the right tools and processes to bring our ideas to life. By providing coaching and support, we can empower people to realize their ideas without being held back by their background or resources. Entrepreneurship is often associated with innovation, and while innovation is crucial, I see entrepreneurship as a means to tap into your talents, pursue your aspirations, or support your family and community. I appreciate how EforAll serves as an equalizer in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

What are the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face?

Women entrepreneurs possess unique qualities that set them apart. In my experience, women tend to be more entrepreneurial. However, women often encounter barriers such as limited access to resources. Despite this, it’s incredible to see the resilience and fearlessness that women exhibit when given the opportunity. Women have a remarkable ability to capitalize on opportunities for self-improvement.

What advice would you have for entrepreneurs?

My advice to anyone who wants to start something but doesn’t know how is to start small, test it in some way, and learn from the process. Entrepreneurship involves testing, learning, and improving. The worst that can happen by trying is learning. You gain insights about your product, idea, or yourself, which can make you a better entrepreneur and better prepared to start a different type of business.

My other advice would be to start in a way that is healthy for yourself, not to put your assets, well-being, or mental health at risk. This can be achieved by surrounding yourself with the right mentors who can give you the coaching needed to be emotionally supported and make the right decisions. Lead an informed and methodic entrepreneurship process rather than start without a plan and risk losing everything.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Learn more here.