Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Osman Dulgeroglu, CEO of Embrace Relief, located in Fairfield, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Embrace Relief is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, whose mission is to deliver research-based, sustainable solutions to achieve lasting improvements for individuals and communities worldwide. Embrace Relief has grown over the years to become an internationally recognized relief organization that works to bring relief to people in need regardless of race, religion, or gender to improve their quality of life.
Embrace Relief operates in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda, which provides a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future. Driven by a strong belief in comprehensive development, ER has carefully curated its programs to address the needs of millions in over 50 countries across 5 continents. Embrace Relief’s focus areas include Clean Water, Health, Education, Women’s Empowerment, Refugee Relief, Hunger Relief, Disaster Relief, and orphan care via our Raise the Children program.
Tell us about yourself
I first entered the nonprofit sector because I wanted to help people and do something meaningful. Every day, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve those less fortunate and improve the lives of people around the world. Working at Embrace Relief is an extremely rewarding and motivating job because I get to see and interact directly with the people our organization helps.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as the C.E.O. of Embrace Relief is expanding our humanitarian programs. When I started in 2013, there was only Disaster Relief. Since then, Embrace Relief has rapidly expanded to include eight programs: Clean Water, Health, Education, Women’s Empowerment, Refugee Relief, Hunger Relief, Disaster Relief, and orphan care via our Raise the Children program.
Since 2013, Embrace Relief has successfully:
- Provided clean water to over 610,000 people across sub-Saharan Africa via water well construction and reconstruction;
- Completed over 36,000 cataract surgeries and conducted more than 500,000 health screenings in Mali, Africa;
- Enrolled thousands of at-risk children in high-quality education programs;
- Given the skills and resources to hundreds of women to become financially stable
- Distributed over 1,146,000 people provided with food packages worldwide;
- Assisted over 1,430,000 million refugees with emergency housing, legal help, and resources;
- Provided emergency relief to over 420,000 people and distributed over 1.9 million P.P.E. supplies to vulnerable communities and frontline workers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Supported thousands of orphaned children in sub-Saharan Africa with food, clothes, health insurance, and education opportunities. In addition, we have renovated many orphanages throughout these regions.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In truth, there are not many extremely difficult or hard things that come with being the C.E.O. of Embrace Relief. Those who work in the nonprofit sector are idealists. Therefore, we imagine a perfect world without suffering or need. Unfortunately, there will always be suffering which requires humanitarian action to be taken. Sometimes these situations are natural.
Other times they are manmade. Regardless, they continuously threaten humanity. The amount of need and aid that is required around the world can be overwhelming, but with a dedicated team, passionate volunteers, and generous donors, we are able to make positive strides.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Three tips I would give to someone looking to start, run, or grow a nonprofit would be to:
- A great way to enter the nonprofit sector is to start at an established, registered organization. During your time here, you can learn the ropes of the NGO world.
- Nonprofits are need-based organizations. Therefore, they address a serious need in a community. Before starting a new nonprofit, you should conduct a thorough needs assessment of the program/project you want to implement. This will help you understand how your nonprofit will fit into the community.
- Be patient. Be understanding. Be kind. Treat people how you would like to be treated. This is crucial for people - including both employees and beneficiaries - in nonprofits to remember because, at the end of the day, we are all human beings who wish to be treated with kindness and respect. Through this, we can connect with others, establish meaningful relationships, and make positive changes.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Check out Embrace Relief's website to see how you can get involved with making the world a better place!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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