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The day I met Lina, I was blown away right away with her active life even as a student. While all others were partying, this girl not only had time to be social too, she also founded Breaking Barriers at University of British Columbia, an online educational tool to eliminate racial and religious stereotyping in universities and international organizations. Now she’s empowered others to take her model and run with it, without her presence. The project is going on without her involvement impacting thousands of people across the world!!!

Every time I spoke to her, she had another big initiative going on, like working at United Nations, speaking at G20 summit, then conquering Georgetown University where she took on even more and more exciting endeavors, like her latest one of starting Dafero, a social enterprise employing refugee women. 

Lina has an untamed spirit to bring the good in any situation. She is up to amazing things, and the title of this post is not an understatement. She’s going to save the world and solve all its problems. She’s been already published about in many articles, including Forbes.

In this conversation we explore what she does working at World Bank, whose mission is to end poverty, how she started her own startup (while still working full-time), and most valuable is what it takes to actually get yourself started. Lina has a lot of wisdom in her views on entrepreneurship and taking risks.

Memorable quotes

“We’re also lucky to live in North America where if you failed and then you succeeded that’s the most amazing thing, and I recognize it in other cultures you fail once and they remember you forever.”

“Maybe I jump into things too fast, maybe not all of them last and they fizzle out, but not being so afraid or scared that it’s not going to work out, because the ride is fun. And if the ride is fun and you enjoy it, doesn’t matter the outcome in the end.”

“An entrepreneur will give up a 40 hour work week for an 80 hour work week for half the pay.”

Key video and audio timestamps

  • 1:12 – what does she do at world bank and what’s her own business about?
  • 3:14 – how did she come up with social enterprise idea to help refugees get involved?
  • 8:13 – enrolling others and how to start executing on her idea
  • 11:30 – what does business for social good mean?
  • 15:00 – executing on her passion even in school: helping bring peace to the world through by promoting connections among different cultures
  • 18:25 – realizations of being crazy to ignore any risks and what it means to jump into your passion projects
  • 27:30 – advice on overcoming analysis paralysis
  • 35:00 – being lean and flexible to really understand what your customers want while maintaining your own safety