Challenges and Joys of a Start-Up

Challenges and Joys of a Start-Up

Suniti is one of OneSeed’s amazing summer interns.  This is her final guest blog.

Suniti is an Economics concentrator at Harvard University. She has spent her summers working in a micro-finance organization in Northern India and researching the impact of Maoist Civil War on social and economic well-being of Nepali women. Her experiences have strengthened her passion for economic empowerment through enterprise development. Suniti is also working as the Director of Outreach and Partnership (Nepal) with Udhyami Nepali, a non-profit that helps Nepali social entrepreneurs get off the ground. She is a Nepali citizen.

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In my previous blog posts, I mostly talked about issues surrounding micro-finance, tourism and female empowerment. Today as I am writing my last blog post, I have decided to reflect upon my experience at OneSeed.

Before jumping into my experience as an intern, I would like to tell you a bit more about how I ended up in this internship.

During my usual browsing of Crimson Careers, I saw a post by Chris Baker, the founder of OneSeed who was looking for interns to work at his new venture based in Colorado. As a Nepali citizen, what excited me the most was that it was a start-up whose working area was in Nepal. Even more amazingly, Chris could sing Nepali songs much better than I could!

After the application and interview, I started my work on May 23rd. After the introductory meeting about the company and setting up the computer, we got down to work. For the first time in my life, I was going to see a business plan take into the shape of a business.

From the start of the internship, I was truly inspired by Chris’s dedication to development of underdeveloped Nepali communities. His experiences in Nepal and the ensuing decision to start OneSeed seemed to be the kind of work that I hope many Nepalis who have left the country do at some point.

I remember the first day when we sat down brain storming ideas to revamp the existing website. Everything we did was a first time experience for me, ranging from meeting a lawyer to discussing the terms and conditions, to writing down the itineraries. The experience gave me the realization that starting a new business is about taking small but important steps into the unknown everyday and trusting your judgment.

After a month of working with OneSeed, I have also realized that starting a new business appears much more glamorous than it actually is. When the initial euphoria of being involved in a new business gets settled, you realize that you have to do all the daily logistical tasks. You have to send many emails, make spreadsheets, create marketing documents, and you have to do them without the HR systems and automation procedures that big corporations can afford. Not all of these tasks are exciting in their own right. That is why people who work with start-ups really need to believe in the mission of the business. The fact that I believe in OneSeed’s core mission has made it all worthwhile.

As I move on from this great experience, I hope to take the lessons I have learnt here to my new journeys. The experience has certainly added to my interest in exploring a career in entrepreneurship.