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HCC Alum Gives Back with Scholarship at Entrepreneurial Celebration

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Update: Howard Community College alum Emily Kim, founder of Uma, Uma in Ellicott City, presented HCC entrepreneurial student Alicia Halliday with the Emily Kim by Uma, Uma and GEHMI Scholarship of $1,000 at HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Fall 2016 Celebration on December 6, 2016. 

A recent Business Monthly article featured Emily Kim and chronicles her journey to success as an entrepreneur! Read the full story here

Emily Kim grew up in South Korea, and while other children played with action figures, she was more interested in games about business magnates and entrepreneurs. Emily carried her interest to Howard Community College (HCC), where – with the knowledge gained through her entrepreneurial classes – she began her first business, “Dazzleous,” an e-commerce retail business specializing in affordable Asian and European fashion.

Emily transferred to the University of Baltimore (UB), where she was a student in the innovative Ratcliffe Fellowship program for entrepreneurship. She has since opened a restaurant, Uma Uma, in Ellicott City, and an IT company, GEHMI. She is also looking to start a catering business.

Emily said she owes much of her success to the opportunities she was given at HCC – so much so, that she plans to give back at HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Fall 2016 Celebration on December 6,  by presenting her own $1,000 scholarship. The scholarship will help a student invest in their own business, and Emily plans to serve as a mentor.

At the celebration, select students from HCC’s introductory entrepreneurship and creativity course will pitch their innovative business ideas in a judged competition. Students will have five minutes each to present their business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurial business professionals. The first and second place winners will be presented with The Pinnacle Entrepreneur Prize.

HCC recently caught up with Emily to learn more about her journey and her desire to pay it forward.

HCC: Tell us about your background

EK: My family immigrated to the states a month before September 11, 2001. It took five-to six years to receive our green card. My family never had a day off to enjoy life. We never ate out. We never had a family vacation. I always thought to myself, “What is this American dream that every immigrant dreams of? Does it exist?” So, I had to be responsible for my life.

HCC: How did you carry your interest of entrepreneurship to HCC?

EK:  I enrolled in my first entrepreneur class due to a recommendation of a counselor. I took the course, and from that moment I knew that entrepreneurship was something I wanted to do. Professor Weber and Professor Noble were like a microwave to a kernel of popcorn of my entrepreneurial spirit. They recommended I apply to the University of Baltimore, which specialized in entrepreneurship. This was a choice I’ll never regret.

HCC: Can you tell us about the $1,000 scholarship you plan to present at the Entrepreneurial Celebration?

EK: Every time I visit HCC for lectures or to speak to classes, it feels like home. I’m not well off yet. I still have a long way to go. But I saved a certain amount every month to give back and support the ones who have the energy and willingness to become someone better. For a student entrepreneur, I know how $1,000 could be beneficial for their business.

HCC: Any advice for HCC students who want to follow in your footsteps?

EK: Living an ordinary life is like playing the same game for 80 years. Why not take a chance and do something bigger? Life is a game – take a challenge! When people doubt you, take that and place it deep in your heart and prove them wrong. Show them by the result.

Howard Community College’s Center for Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Fall 2016 Celebration will take place Tuesday, December 6, 2016 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in The Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall, 4th Floor.

In addition to the competition, students, alumni, and business partners who are currently helping downtown Ellicott City shop owners create websites and revitalize their businesses in the wake of the recent historic flooding will be recognized.

The event is sponsored by HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence, Pinnacle Advisory Group, Inc., Howard County Chamber of Commerce, Howard County Economic Development Authority, and Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship.
Topics: Success Stories
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