The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

British Airways “Face of Opportunity” winner shares experience!

Un-freaking-believable! Is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the exciting- around the world- trip that I just went on with SUN’s Rich Sloan, and 100 other “Face of Opportunity” contestant winners!

I really never win anything, I am however, very lucky and blessed! I submitted my essay of why I should win this opportunity, and forgot all about the contest until Rich sent me a congratulations e-mail. WOW! I was ready to go……

British Airways partnered with several big networking groups from around the US, to set off a series of businesses opportunities that will help facilitate your business in face to face meetings with new global partners.

Article is continued below

We started in NY at JFK airport, where BA threw us a grandiose bon voyage party where we had the opportunity to meet and mingle with many of the UK’s elite entrepreneurs, businesses and royalty…

Check out the Mayor or London, Boris Johnson –(Don’t you just LOVE his crazy hair-he was an absolute HOOT.) I have bragging rights, in that I was one of the ONLY entrepreneurs to actually get a photo-op with him. I know everyone wanted to kill me- however, that is what happens when you’re the best networker on the planet…

AT that party, I met some fascinating UK business partners looking to assist all businesses with financing abroad, to UK organizations and entrepreneurs that are willing to help you make connections and build relationships, over the pond. How FABULOUS is that?

On the plane ride over to London, with my new BFF acquaintances, we networked fast and furious, like riding sea biscuit on steroids, to make sure we did not miss a potential connection, opportunity or tasty hourdurve being served on the 7+ hour flight. We got there at 10 PM local London time (9 hours ahead of USA) and endured yet another “Welcome” party. Do you know that some of our CRAZY USA entrepreneurs closed the London Sofitel Hotel Bar down at 3 AM (I am not sure BA or London knew what they were in for with American Entrepreneurs)

The following night a group of us went into the city to mingle with the EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) of London. We had such a fantastic time, talking, sharing ideas and making life long connections. We had a fabulous dinner and laughed, connected, inspired and solidified those long term relationships. It is now our responsibilities to keep connected, and that fire lit to expand our resources, connections and businesses with one another. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting each and every entrepreneur on this trip.

Business Face-To-Face: What a great concept, especially when most businesses are in fear mode and pulling back on any expansions, or opportunities. Not British Airways, I do believe they are the only big company out there who really gets’ it- it being- you need to expand your business and reach out to other businesses as potential partners- to help you grow and survive these hard times. We are the cash cow for the economy; small business has ALWAYS been the majority stake holder in any economy. I know that very soon…..many businesses will be trying to copy the BA “Face of Opportunity” model.

I am a strong believer that we, not our government, nor large corporations, or espically politicians (they are too busy protecting their own agendas and a–es up in Washington), are going to pull ourselves out of this economic times. Be accountable and responsible for your own business, future and life!

To further this fantastic trip- as part of the contest- winners had the opportunity to go to any other destination that BA flies, worldwide, and make more business connections. I chose Rome Italy, of course. Yes, that is the Vatican City, and your looking at St. Peter Basicilla, WOW!

 

Chance meeting in ROME… while at the tomb of St. Peter, I ran into Jerry Colangelo (owner of the Arizona Diamond Backs baseball team.) We chatted a bit and I reflected- of all the places, around the world, he and I end up at the holiest place on earth, Rome- Go figure!

 

 

I spent 4 days networking and meeting fabulous Italian entrepreneurs. I stumbled on a great outdoor market in the Pizza Campo Del Fiori, and was taken back by one entrepreneur in particular. While sitting on his box- this young man- was captivating an audience of locals, and visitors, who were buying fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. He was delighting everyone with his cool designs carved out of potatoes, carrots (any fruits or vegetable) with his “HOT NEW “kitchen gadget. I am hoping to help him take his product GLOBAL…stay tuned!

Moral of this Face-To-Face opportunity: like with anything in life…you get out of it what you put into it! It is my hope that all the contestant winners seize this opportunity to explore outside of London Heathrow Terminal #5; meet new entrepreneurs, give contacts and resources to others …and most of all…go explore the world, experience all it has to offer you and your business!

Always Dream BIG!

Kim Babjak 

About the Author: Kim Babjak

Kim Babjak was born to be an entrepreneur. From her childhood days of developing products, Kim has loved all aspects of business. However, the area that brings her the most joy is helping others achieve success. Armed with her dream [...]

Lineage2, Aion, Blade And Soul