The term ‘entrepreneur’ gets thrown around a lot in today’s progressive world; it indicates an individual who built an empire, an enterprise where one caters to a niche and makes a difference. However, there is more that comes with employing this identity. Entrepreneurs are the future, emulating understanding and carrying the narrative forward for more people wanting to enter the business world. Entrepreneurs are not just people operating a business; they are individuals with a vision who identify with the masses and work to help them.
Whatever sector they may serve, entrepreneurs have the ability to make a difference, create waves, and pave the way for progress in the future. It takes infinite effort, dedication, and motivation, to make a difference, something the 10 individuals mentioned below possess in abundance and showcase through their work. They are well-versed in their field, creatively and passionately serving in ways that can make a positive difference in their communities. It takes a certain sense of endurance to work and reach your goals, and these 10 inspire the next generation to inherit these qualities.
1. Luca Zambello
Luca Zambello is the co-founder and CEO of Jurny, inc., a hospitality technology firm that powers operations and cutting-edge guest experiences for leading independent hotel brands, vacation rental units, and short-term rental (STR) properties. As a host and operator with more than 12 years of experience, Luca brings a wealth of hospitality knowledge. He is a renowned Forbes contributor for his knowledge and industry acumen and has been featured in Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, Business Insider, and other publications.
Luca was recently chosen as an Advisory Board Member for Entertainment and Hospitality Management at California State University, Fullerton, where he additionally delivers lectures as a guest. Furthermore, he has received multiple awards and nominations in the hospitality field, including the Titan Award and the American Best in Business Awards.
Luca grew up in the Italian city of Mantua and arrived in the US for education with little English language proficiency. He had always desired to start a tech company in the US. After becoming aware of the issues in the hospitality business and the need for transformative technologies, he launched a luxury rental business in Los Angeles that promptly grossed 1.2 million dollars in its first year.
Before Jurny, Luca ran a management firm called GuestWiser. It was only after Jurny, in 2019, that he transitioned from management to tech. Jurny is a Tech company that provides a SaaS-based system to support a seamless experience for guests and property owners. Since its inception, Jurny has raised over $12 million in capital headed by Okapi Venture Capital and Mucker Capital.
Jurny pioneered the first integrated network for short-term rentals and boutique hotels. Luca hopes to continue revolutionizing the hospitality sector. Automation, connectivity, and A.I. are the future of technology in real estate and every other significant industry. He wishes to continue striving to deliver the best hospitality products possible so that the sector continues to evolve.
2. Summer Lee
Founder of Spark Talent Group, Summer Lee, is on a mission to light a fire in the influencer marketing industry. As a millennial entrepreneur and first-generation Asian American, she brings a unique perspective to the table, and her accomplishments speak for themselves.
At just 24 years old, Summer launched Spark Talent Group. It is a leading influencer marketing and talent agency that serves top-tier digital creators and influencers across the U.S. Ever since its launch in 2020, the company has secured over $3 million in brand partnerships and executed campaigns with top-tier brands such as Target, Best Buy, and Sephora. They have also developed a roster of 50 exclusively managed talent with a combined reach of over 31 million.
Summer’s passion for the industry began early when she started her journey as an intern at Fossil Group during college, before the term “influencer” had even been coined. Her background in the brand and agency side of influencer marketing and her experience leading creator strategy for the retail & luxury fashion verticals at TikTok has allowed her to understand and serve the needs of digital content creators.
In the future, Summer hopes to continue growing the Spark Talent Group team and talent roster, providing best-in-class experiences to brand partners and talent clients. To learn more about Summer and Spark Talent Group, check their website, and follow them on Instagram and LinkedIn.
You can also read more about Summer and her journey as a first-time entrepreneur in articles found at Entrepreneur, Shoutout DFW, and Voyage Dallas. To hear Summer speak about her experiences in the industry, listen to her features on the Fearlessly Authentic Podcast or The Creative Entrepreneur Podcast.
3. Cindy Maram
Cindy Maram is an entrepreneur, filmmaker, influencer, author, red-carpet reporter, and film journalist. Her journey of establishing herself in Hollywood as an award-winning journalist and acclaimed filmmaker is a testimony to her ingenious mind and go-getter attitude.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Maram had many friends and classmates who worked in Hollywood. Naturally, she also had many connections in Hollywood’s glamorous yet capricious world. She had a business-oriented mind from childhood, with a strong interest in marketing, writing, film, arts, and other creative pursuits. She wanted to establish herself in the film industry in a role that would align with her creative thirst and progressive vision. On some of her friend’s advice, she began to work as a film journalist alongside her marketing job in Silicon Valley. In 2008, she established Dig IN Magazine, which enabled her to interact with the A-list Hollywood crowd, including Timothee Chalamet, Margot Robbie, Robert Pattinson, Awkwafina, and more. She established a reputation as a ‘Hollywood insider’ with the latest news, featured on her magazine’s podcast Scooped.
Maram started getting invitations to prestigious festivals like Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival. Interviewing many capable filmmakers, actors, and public figures at these festivals established her mark as an excellent editor in the market of film journalism. She did not stop there; her willingness to take risks and her ambition to explore new territories led her to work as an associate producer on the HBO Max feature film Women Is Losers. She also established her film production, marketing, and PR agency IN Close Entertainment, working on her short film projects and providing expert consultation on film PR and marketing.
Currently, Maram is working on her book Still Purring, outlining the struggles of businesswomen in the glitzy world of Hollywood. She plans to enhance her horizon even more; she’s working on a short film script, “The Photo Shoot,” which aims to raise questions about mental illnesses. A drama comedy short film, “Verified Hustler,” is also in the pipeline. Given her relentless work ethic, it is not surprising that she will succeed in all her endeavors.
4. Samantha V. Cepeda
Meet Samantha Cepeda, better known as The Nurse Sam, a nurse entrepreneur and the owner and CEO of The Nurse Sam, a multiple-six-figure digital education company. She combines creative learning methods with entertainment and pop culture references to help nursing students stay one step ahead in understanding essential concepts.
Her story is one of resilience and determination. At just 26 years old, she faced a devastating setback when she had a hysterectomy five days after getting married, leaving her unable to have children or pursue a long career in bedside nursing. However, she refused to let this setback define her and instead used it as motivation to create something meaningful.
In 2019, Samantha launched TheNurseSam.com, a leading resource for digital study guides and creative content for nurses and nursing students. Her unique approach has earned her a following of over 100,000+ nurses and nursing students across multiple social media platforms. She is also regarded as one of the “Most Creative Nursing Content Creators” for her innovative approach to education.
Samantha is also a strong advocate for the role of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and works to raise awareness of the often-belittled role of LPNs in the nursing profession. She hopes to improve nursing school experiences through her platform and encourage more people to pursue nursing as RNs and LPNs.
In the future, Samantha aims to take her “entertain to retain” study methodology to the next level by creating educational nursing material for universities, training hospitals, and other facilities. Her main goal is to inspire more individuals to enter nursing by enhancing the quality of nursing education available to students.
Samantha’s story of overcoming adversity and turning her passion into a successful business is truly inspiring and will surely motivate and empower anyone facing challenges in life.
You can follow her work on her website, and social media handles like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. Make sure to check out The Nurse Sam and join the thousands of nursing students who have already been inspired and motivated by her work.
5. Ákos Gábossy
Meet Ákos Gábossy, the mastermind behind PANIQ Room, one of the world’s largest and most exciting escape room brands. As the co-founder and CEO, Akos has made it his mission to bring the thrilling experience of escape rooms to players worldwide.
Growing up in Hungary, Akos was always an ambitious and driven individual. From an early age, he was fascinated by the entertainment world and wanted to make a career out of it. During his high school years, he had the opportunity to spend an academic year in Los Angeles as a foreign exchange student, where he discovered his passion for location-based entertainment. After returning home and finishing his university education, he set his sights on bringing this exciting new form of entertainment to Hungary and, eventually, the world.
Akos’s story is one of ambition and determination. He fell in love with the idea of location-based entertainment during a year spent in Los Angeles as a high school exchange student. After returning to Hungary, he and his partners opened two of Budapest’s best family entertainment centers. When escape rooms became popular in the city, they knew they had to bring the European concept to the United States. In 2012, PANIQ Room was born, and by 2014, their first American outlet opened its door in Hollywood.
With over 20 locations and five more under construction, PANIQ Room is on track to become a leader in the industry. And, as they prepare to open their flagship store in West Hollywood in 2023, they are set to make a big splash in the Los Angeles market. The 7000 square foot, 2-story venue on La Cienega Boulevard will feature a bar, lounge area, and six new generation escape room themes, including alien and superhero-themed rooms.
However, Akos is not content to rest on his escape room laurels. He is also working on a new escape room-style board game. He started an online venture during the pandemic called Viral Deals, which aims to disrupt the coupon marketing space and target Gen Z and younger millennial customers.
With his ambitious goals and innovative approach to entertainment, Akos Gabossy and PANIQ Room are sure to capture players’ attention everywhere. For more information, check out the website.
6. Adam Spencer
Hailing from Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Adam Spencer is the President and CEO of AbleDocs, a global leader in digital accessibility. He’s a fearless leader and successful entrepreneur who has always pressed ahead despite obstacles in search of the best solution. As a serial entrepreneur, Adam believes in drawing from first-hand experiences, be it his success or failures. What sets him apart is that he puts all of himself into everything he pursues. He’s committed to building a thriving company while eliminating barriers for people with print disabilities.
Adam founded AbleDocs in 2019, following years of being in the digital accessibility space following his mother’s initial ask over a decade ago for him to create documents that a colleague with a print disability could interact with independently. The company has grown to become the world leader in digital accessibility, with operations in seven countries. AbleDocs provides enterprises with a comprehensive suite of tools and services to assure high-volume document accessibility compliance, document accessibility testing, accessibility training, and web accessibility compliance. AbleDocs is the only company in the world that guarantees compliance with every file it produces and backs it up with guaranteed liability coverage of $10,000,000.
All firms, no matter their size, should commit to addressing digital accessibility as a priority rather than an afterthought. Moreover, companies should include it in their strategic planning activities, as in many countries, digital accessibility isn’t just a nice to have, but rather, it’s the law. Through AbleDocs, Adam’s objective is to ensure the accessibility of all types of digital content by developing focused methods and solutions. The company’s mission is to assist organizations in developing and implementing long-term plans that ensure clients can interact with information without obstacles using proprietary technologies and field expertise.
Adam believes in inclusivity through accessibility. He mainly focuses on the importance of entrepreneurship in curating societal change for the better. To learn more about Adam and AbleDocs, check their LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
7. Augustin Ndikuriyo
As an Africa Tourism Expert & Digital Marketing Specialist, Augustin Ndikuriyo has dedicated his career to promoting the true image of Africa through sustainable tourism.
As the Founder of Augustine Tours, a company that offers customized wildlife and cultural experiences, he has established a reputation for providing unique and authentic experiences that benefit visitors and local communities.
With over 13 years of experience, “Augustine Tours” has won the trust of international institutions such as the US Marines, the US Embassy in Burundi, the Nokia Network System, and the European Union. The company aims is to provide tours and promote cultural and educational exchange, preserving cultural heritage, wildlife, and nature. The tours are designed to benefit visitors and local employment and are tailored to meet the expectations of guests from around the world.
It all started in 2010 when Augustin quit his job as a hotel receptionist to start his own tour company. Despite a lack of support from friends and family, he followed his passion and used his savings of $1500 to create “Augustine Tours.” Through hard work and determination, he built a successful business, learning online marketing skills and improving his English to serve his clients better.
“Augustine Tours” has offices in Burundi, Rwanda, and Germany and has received positive feedback from clients who have returned home with “fantastic memories and very positive impressions.” Augustin’s background is modest; he was born in Burundi to a humble family with no business, political connections, or social standing. He was brought up in a culture that valued perseverance and hard work.
Augustin’s journey should serve as motivation to anyone who wants to pursue their passion and make a difference in the world. He is a true tribute to the power of hard work, tenacity, and the notion that everything is achievable with enough effort and dedication. He aspires to encourage the youth about entrepreneurship through his tourism services and regular educational content employing the power of digital transformation.
In 2024, Augustin intends to start a marketing company that will provide digital marketing solutions to tourism companies. Check his company’s socials, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, to stay updated.
8. Rowena Scherer
Rowena Scherer is the CEO and the founder of eat2explore, a food and culture experience-in-a-box cooking kit. Her award-winning experiential cooking kit makes cooking from different cultures exciting and immersive. To turn cooking into an educational trip, she assembled dependable educators and local chefs around eat2explore. This resulted in a one-of-a-kind cultural education through culinary discovery which is provided through an explorer box packed with authentic recipes, activities, and collectibles.
Rowena is an accomplished academic who did her Bachelor of Finance and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Victoria University of New Zealand and her Masters of Business Administration from the New York University Stern School of Business. She is also a graduate of The French Culinary Institute of New York.
Rowena’s work with JPMorgan has taken her worldwide to different countries and cities. During a vacation family cooking lesson, she realised that, while her children loved to travel and try new foods, they couldn’t even cut an onion. It is where Rowena found the inspiration and founded eat2explore in 2018 to teach kids how to cook and educate them in the process. She is focused on helping children learn the culture and origin of the food they’re working with. The food preparation kits got excellent feedback and were featured in many prominent publications like Forbes, Time Magazine, NY Times, CNN, WSJ, BuzzFeed, and the Today Show.
With eat2explore, the whole family can cook together and educate the children in the process. Rowena has always been passionate about food and various cultures, and eat2explore is what she came up with to merge her passions. Rowena aspires to raise a generation of children and society who are mindful of their surroundings. She hopes to teach youngsters the vital art of cooking, which will benefit them in their lives and beyond. eat2explore, according to her, is more than just a culinary kit; these kits help youngsters learn skills and promote healthy eating in a fast-food-filled world.
In the future, Rowena wants to continue bringing exciting new countries and provide dependable ingredients to her loyal customers.
9. Craig Ainsworth
Meet Craig Ainsworth, a highly accomplished veteran Royal Marine Commando, Elite Bodyguard, and Interpol Associate. With a client list that includes some of the world’s most recognizable names, including the Beckhams, Schwarzenegger, Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavil, Jason Momoa, and Jennifer Lawrence. Craig has also worked with Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Zendaya, Tom Holland, Eddie Redmayne, Scorsese, Deniro, Pachino, Amber Heard, and Johnny Depp. He has a wealth of experience in protecting the world’s elite.
But Craig’s story doesn’t stop there. When the pandemic hit, like many, he found himself alone and struggling with the trauma of losing 11 friends to suicide in just 16 months. Determined to turn his experience into something positive, he started Virtuous Savage, a business aimed at helping people overcome mental health issues and become their best versions. Through his unique approach to empowering individuals, corporations, and even past clients, Craig has revolutionized how people reset, re-energize, and refocus their minds, bodies, and goals.
With his book, due for release in 2023, Craig hopes to inspire others to overcome their struggles and achieve their goals. He also plans to turn Virtuous Savage into a global mind, body, and goals support system, with free courses and experiences for those who need it most, eventually turning it into a foundation to support children’s charities worldwide.
Craig’s background story is one of overcoming adversity and turning tragedy into triumph. Growing up in London, he was surrounded by violence and tragedy, but losing his best friend at 18 changed his life forever. Determined to create a better life for himself, he joined the Royal Marines and never looked back.
Craig Ainsworth is a true leader and innovator who, through his unique approach and his business Virtuous Savage, is helping people all over the world find self-belief and value to become the best versions of themselves by slaying their demons. His story is of true resilience, determination, and the power of the human spirit.
10. Venisha Hinton
Hailing from a small town just outside of Philadelphia, Venisha Hinton-Jackson is a wedding planner, event concept decor designer, and footwear designer. She’s the owner and founder of two successfully running small-scale businesses, 24 West Wedding & Event Planner Service and Vezalez Shoes. Her passion for producing beautiful things began when she was hired as a design manager at Charles Albert, where she designed several exquisite pieces for the company.
Coming from humble beginnings, Venisha has struggled to change her circumstances in pursuing her dream of owning her business. She left her position to launch her line of high-end shoes because she wanted to design for herself rather than for others. Finding a good luxury footwear manufacturer in Europe was first difficult. However, she found one in Spain that created high-quality footwear and began sending samples back and forth. All of this ended when Venisha realized she was short on funds and needed alternative sources of income.
To keep her dream alive, she found work as a bridal assistant. Her experience made her realize that she could easily become a wedding planner because she had the necessary skills. She began planning luxury and destination weddings for her celebrity clientele after successfully building a social media presence and website for her business, “24 West Wedding & Event Planner Service.”
With her newfound resources, Venisha reopened her footwear business Vezalez, gaining a large following of celebrity clientele who adore her shoes. Vezalez’s appearance on Naturi Naughton also sparked interest from many magazines and celebrity placements.
Venisha aims to merge her two businesses, offering luxury and customized footwear to her beautiful brides on their special day.
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