Lisa Besserman of Startup Buenos Aires: Fostering the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Buenos Aires

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Name: Lisa Besserman

Business: Startup Buenos Aires, a service that provides networking and resources for entrepreneurs

Industry: Coaching & Consulting, Social Enterprise 

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Reason for starting: Upon arriving to Buenos Aires, I was surprised to see the elements of a strong startup community existed, however it was fragmented and lacked cohesion. After meeting with entrepreneurs and startups, I realized that all startups here lacked resources, and I wanted to change that. Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Buenos Aires, I left my job in New York to become the founder of SUBA, a free community organization that inspires, connects and supports entrepreneurs and startups in Buenos Aires and around the world.

Related: Read about another female entrepreneur helping grow new businesses here.

How do you define success? To me, success isn’t defined by the amount of money one has in their bank account, or how high one climbs the proverbial corporate ladder. I believe success is defined by the lives we touch. In my opinion, success can be measured by the impact we make towards building a better world, and doing our part to inspire those around us to achieve greatness.

Biggest Success: Creating Startup Buenos Aires is my biggest success (and greatest challenge). With help from my peers, I’ve been fortunate to help build a real startup community in Argentina. SUBA provides resources, connections and opportunities to entrepreneurs and startups in need. With our support, we’ve seen startups grow and evolve into great organizations. We’ve changed lives and brought new opportunities to the people of Buenos Aires. To me, there is no greater success than improving the lives of others.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge is being an expatriate and building an organization in a place that is foreign to me. Every day is a new obstacle, whether it be cultural, conversational or organizational. When I first arrived to Buenos Aires I did not speak any Spanish, which was an obvious challenge. I’ve addressed this situation by taking weekly Spanish classes, as well as, learning the language and culture, while constantly connecting with the community to address the needs to our members and society.

Related: TSE Special Series: Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Who is your most important role model? As cliche as it may sound, my mother. Before I was born, my father was involved in a car accident that left him disabled. My mother held our family together emotionally and financially. She is the hardest worker I’ve ever seen, who fully dedicates herself to everything and everyone she loves. Raising three kids, taking care of our father and her mother who suffers from Alzheimers. Incredibly, she did it all with a smile and inspired us to not only accept challenges, but overcome obstacles to achieve our dreams

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Read about another social enterprise entrepreneur here

Edited by The Story Exchange

Posted: May 29, 2014

The Story ExchangeLisa Besserman of Startup Buenos Aires: Fostering the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Buenos Aires