Posted Thursday, October 20, 2022 12:00 am
By Shaun Ryan
Anyone who has any interest in business, entrepreneurship or simply making things happen in the marketplace will want to be at the link in mid-November for the second annual EnterCircle Summit.
This three-day event will feature more than 50 speakers and successful business professionals and opportunities to collaborate with like-minded thinkers to develop new ideas and strengthen existing business endeavors.
“The intent of it is to celebrate entrepreneurship,” said link co-founder Gurpreet Misra.
But one does not have to own a business or even be a boss to benefit from the summit. One simply has to have the spirit of the entrepreneur.
“You are an innovator, an initiator or a key team member who wants to move the needle,” Misra said in describing summit participants.
EnterCircle is a project of the nonprofit Sapna Foundation, which participates in poverty alleviation through its support for education, workforce development and small business resiliency. The event grew out of a desire by Misra to celebrate Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, which is Nov. 19. About 85% of purchases and nearly $20 trillion in global spending is credited to women.
As an entrepreneur herself alongside her husband, Raghu, Misra wanted to do something to recognize this in 2021.
The idea grew from there to include youth – the leaders of the future – and others.
EnterCircle 2021 had more than 250 attendees and a broad representation from the private, government, nonprofit and education sectors. More than 10 startup pitches went on to compete, and the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners issued a proclamation declaring Entrepreneurial Week.
The event’s success guaranteed further EnterCircle summits, the second of which is this year.
The first day of the three-day summit is Nov. 16, with the focus being a Youth Symposium for participants ages 17-25. Organizers are trying to connect with all the area universities and schools to be a part of this event.
Students will have an opportunity to gain knowledge from successful business leaders, participate in discussions and gain insights into possibilities that exist locally, nationally and globally. International students will participate in a roundtable conversation to share their rich experiences.
Day two, Nov. 17, will be Startups/Small Business Day. For-profit and nonprofit organizations will discuss challenges, advancements, innovative solutions and resilient leadership in starting and sustaining businesses. A highlight will be a structured business pitch process for budding entrepreneurs and startup founders.
From 5:30 to 7 p.m. that day, there will be a business expo. This is a good way for businesses, particularly those that may not have a traditional storefront, to connect with other businesses, professionals, customers and the public in general.
The third day, Nov. 18, will be Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. The focus will be challenges of women in leadership, and the event will cover entrepreneurship, politics and more. Panel discussions will feature women who are leaders in different sectors, such as architecture, engineering and politics.
The link is a state-of-the-art space where entrepreneurs and business professionals collaborate. It’s a business incubator and community center that hosts an array of events, classes and camps. It is located at 425 Town Plaza Ave., Ponte Vedra Beach.