In honor of the 2021 International Women’s Day, we searched for a female entrepreneur at IE University who embraces the unexpected and shatters glass ceilings. Despite the turmoil of the past year, Nur Younis has encapsulated that profile while developing her business interests with huge success.
Read on to discover how IE University has supported Nur in her exciting and dynamic journey.
An entrepreneur at heart
Originally from Madrid, Nur Younis is an entrepreneur at heart. She began studying the Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations in 2019. True to the innovative spirit of the IE University community, Nur was presented with a multitude of opportunities to expand her entrepreneurial mindset. One day while sitting in a café with a fellow classmate, she was told about an opportunity to work in technology and entrepreneurship in the Netherlands. On a whim, she submitted her application. Upon hearing that she had been accepted, she approached IE University to investigate how this could impact her studies. The administration and faculty were overwhelmingly supportive, granting Nur a gap year to pursue her passions and continue pushing herself outside of her comfort zone. She says that “It was the best environment I could have possibly asked for.”
During her first year at IE University, Nur also established the Madrid chapter of the Sustainable Development Goals Club. The club has since grown to become one of the largest undergraduate clubs on the Madrid campus. She fully plans to return to IE University this fall upon completion of her gap year and is excited to jump right back into the supportive community.
Always following her dreams
Nur has always been very creative and likes to find new ways of doing things. If she was asked to submit an essay in high school, she would go above and beyond to submit not only a paper, but a video, slideshow, and a model, too. Fitting into boxes is not something Nur Younis does. When it came time to apply to university, she saw no better choice than IE University to keep fostering her entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, she was so passionate about attending IE University that she describes it as her “all or nothing” choice of university. Nur’s ambition was evident from the start. In her words, “most people dream about what they could do, but if I have a dream I work to make it a reality.”
Encouraged throughout by IE University
IE University is a community that always says yes. In her first year, Nur was part of creating the groundbreaking Sustainability Committee that now hosts its own department within IE University. She recalls that, at any committee meeting, the heads of departments were always willing to take on new initiatives and support her throughout her endeavors. Aside from sustainability, she also proposed various technology projects to the management teams where she once again received an outpouring of support. She was always asked, “how can we help?” Even in her first week of university, she was introduced to CEOs from large companies like Telefónica. In her words, IE University as an institution tells her and other students: “Hey, wake up! The world is yours.”
Nur’s most influential experience so far has been her participation in the MBA Summer Entrepreneurship Camp. In July 2020, she was yearning to develop a soft-skills platform for young students to learn remotely. She applied to IE University’s MBA Entrepreneurship Camp (despite being an undergraduate student) and was welcomed with open arms. Nur recalled that, at first, being surrounded by master’s students was intimidating, but she has no regrets. She was leading pitches every week and receiving detailed feedback from experts in the field. It’s an experience she says she will always be grateful for, as it taught her that there is literally nothing she cannot do with the support of IE University behind her.
The importance of female representation in entrepreneurship
IE University fully supports its female entrepreneurs and students, and their commitment is underpinned by their belief that there should be no barriers to opportunity. The inclusivity of the community has given Nur an environment that consistently empowers and pushes her.
Nur would like to thank a few inspiring females that she’s met at IE University and who have helped her along her journey. It is with the support of females like these that she believes IE University can continue to support its young and aspiring female student body. These include Jessica D. Tollete, Director of the Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences, Diversity and Inclusion Expert; Sugata Jain, MBA Entrepreneurship Camp Organizer; Leticia Ponce, IE StartUp Lab Director; Milena Janowska, Project Coordinator of IE’s European EdTech Network; Lynn Yates, Madrid Director of Campus Life; and Juliana Naranjo Pereira, Chief of Campus Life.
Nur’s advice to ambitious student entrepreneurs
Nur’s resounding message is: “Just go for it!” Students will always face challenges, but part of being a successful entrepreneur is always keeping your dream insight and continuing to push forward. She tells students to talk to as many people as they can and remember that the university is always there to support them. IE University has been an invaluable resource to her and she believes this is the same for all ambitious entrepreneurs, too.
Looking forward: collaboration and support are key
Nur highlights that there is a lot of IE University talent and that it’s up to us as a community to keep supporting each other. She hopes to see more peer-to-peer collaborations in the future. The projects that IE University students work on mean a lot to them, and any small help or advice means a great deal. She is excited to return to the IE University campus soon and is eager to continue seizing every opportunity on offer.