Dima Elissa is a passionate serial entrepreneur who is sharing her story and passion with others through her business VisualMedia and giving back as an Adjunct faculty at Associated Colleges of the Midwest. Dima will also be giving her time later this month speaking to students at the upcoming 2013 CEO National Conference in Chicago.
Dima described herself as an “accidental entrepreneur”. She started selling candy to classmates in grade school and always found a way to monetize things. Being born in Beirut, Lebanon, Dima describes being entrepreneurial as a “cultural hazard.” A year after starting VisualMedia, Dima was faced with a tough situation. Her partner left the company and she had to choose between closing up shop or running the business by herself. She chose to run the business by herself and 16 years later, VisualMedia is still thriving. Along the way, she founded, invested in and consulted on a number of other businesses.
As an Adjunct faculty member at Associated Colleges of the Midwest, Dima is presently able to share what she has learned firsthand as an entrepreneur. Asked why she is passionate about teaching entrepreneurship to others, Dima replied, “Teaching allows me to give, give back and hopefully I can help open doors to the students at ACM and, particularly, the female entrepreneurs looking to make their mark. As I teach and impart my knowledge, I learn from the students about their perspective, experiences and motivations. That two-way enrichment isn’t easy to come by.”
2013 CEO National Conference
Dima Elissa will be participating in the 2013 Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) National Conference this October. The Conference will be held October 31st – November 2nd in downtown Chicago. Along with 80 other entrepreneurs and business leaders, Dima will be giving her time to speak to some of the 1,000 young entrepreneurs and students in attendance. “If I can influence or empower one attendee to find their pursuit or passion, to overcome reluctance fears or doubts, then I’ve accomplished in one hour what takes some years to realize,” said Dima. After twenty years of experience, Elissa acknowledges that becoming an entrepreneur is a “journey”, especially now when business evolves so quickly. For that reason, she recommends entrepreneurs keep their minds open.
Dima Elissa will be co-hosting a panel with Parissa Behnia, featuring Mahrinah vonSchlegel, Coco Meers, and Shreena Amin. The panel will be focusing on women and minority entrepreneurs in a ‘meet the press’ format and will accept questions from attendees. The panel will explore the realities about female and minority entrepreneurs while providing a positive outlook and good advice for young entrepreneurs facing obstacles. Dima Elissa has her own motto: “If you can’t make it here, don’t leave. The opportunities here are limitless and failure is just part of the process”.
Listen to the full interview with Dima Elissa here!
– Dima’s thoughts on how entrepreneurship has changed over the past couple of decades.
– Dima explains why the conference provides students with an “ideal platform.”
– Best piece of advice for young entrepreneurs: “If you can’t make it here, don’t leave.” “Fail quickly and get right back and do it again. It’s important to keep your mind open to change.”