Do you want to know what inspires a young woman with a degree in industrial engineering from Haiti to start an artisanal chocolate business? We had the chance to ask Askanya Chocolates CEO, Corinne Symietz, a few questions! Read on!
Q: What inspired you to start your own business?
A: Growing up in Port-au-Prince Haiti, I was aware of the poverty surrounding us. I said – when I grow up, I will not only do charity, I will create businesses so people can work for me and do whatever they want with their money.
Q: What is one piece of advice you wish you had heard, and listened to - in life or in business?
A: “It’s going to take time”. During the first five years of running Askanya, we had some pretty low times and I often wondered, “OMG, will the business will ever scale?? Why are we struggling so much? Was that a good idea??” But all those challenges were learning experiences that helped me build the business stronger, and now, five years later, we are finally starting to really scale and make money.
Q: Who are your biggest cheerleaders or supporters in business or life?
A: The young women looking at me and needing representation: I want every brown, chocolatey Haitian girl to think they can dream big, follow their dreams, attend top university, travel the world, make a difference. I did it, and so can they!
Q: If a reporter were to write a journal article about you, what would be the headline?
A: "Building a Stronger Haiti with Women and Chocolate”
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