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Mariagrazia Lauricella: Non-Profits Can and Should Be Enterprising and Entrepreneurial

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

This week’s episode is with Mariagrazia Lauricella. Maria started her international non-profit for youth, Humanity Del Sol, working 3 jobs at any given time until sustainable. She now has a team of six and runs the operation from home or while traveling internationally. She's also added sustainability ventures to help fund her social enterprises, and helps others do the same, including her newest - a wine club called the Humanity Wine Company. Maria is a social enterprising, solopreneuring, homepreneuring, international traveling maven!

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Full Episode (YouTube):

0:30 - Allen opens the episode with asking about Maria currently living and traveling between Canada, Florida, and Argentina.

5:00 - Allen reveals the theme of the show - Survivorpreneurship

7:00 - Allen gives a brief overview of himself and his new book Quit to Start. He talks about how difficult it is to work for others when you have an entrepreneurial mindset.

11:00 - Maria grew up in Italy where she started work at the age of 12 and continued to work several jobs while growing up and attending school. She was an average student until she had her first business class and it just clicked.

19:00 - She loved travel so asked herself “how can I travel the world for free?”. That led her to take her passion for art and create an international art company that in fact enabled her to travel the world on business.

21:45 - Maria discusses how her father instilled the importance of 'giving in all aspects of life' that led her to this journey of becoming a human cause centered entrepreneur.

23:30 - She was on assignment in Argentina, was introduced to an orphanage - this would be her calling and that became Humanity Del Sol, dedicated to helping orphans gain a good life and avoid abuse and trafficking among other dreadful outcomes.

29:45 - Two important things to know in entrepreneurship: 1. Ask for money, get advice. Ask for advice, get money. 2. When you step off the sideline of thinking about a business and go all in you will see more people jump in to offer help, financial and otherwise.

33:05 - Fear of failure is a big driver in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs often put themselves in a vulnerable position when creating a company and they have to fight to make their dream a reality and fear of failure can help drive that dream.

38:00 - Number one way to offset the challenge of getting your business off the ground: get as much help as you can. It’s often hard for the entrepreneurial type to ask for help but it is important to not try and go it alone because the amount of work necessary for success will be far greater than you will expect.

42:30 - “Nothing goes right and no one buys.” We don’t say this to talk you out of entrepreneurship but rather to prepare you for and set expectations for the journey.

44:15 - Many entrepreneurs have to overcome both positive (too much) and negative feedback from their close friends and family when starting a business.

49:25 - Maria shares her struggles with a close family member that did not support her business venture and it led to them not talking for several years.

54:15 - A live guest joins in and shares her story of struggling through solopreneurship and the value in having a support network in entrepreneurship.

1:04:45 - As for this challenging economy, we need to look at history and see what worked back then to see what could work today. Whether you look at the great depression or the great recession you have several history points to reference. Based on prior experience some things that you can do now are: conserve cash, find secondary sources of income, and seek entrepreneurial opportunities to solve the list of problems that the world is facing currently.

1:07:30 - Runway/lead time: The amount of time it takes to build up your business successful enough for you to be full-time. Right now is the perfect time to start so that you can use this time as the runway so that when the economy starts picking up, you aren’t just getting started, you are in full swing.

1:11:00 - Maria discusses the misnomer that you can’t do humanitarian work unless you are a non-profit as well as the unrealistic standards that non-profits are held to.

1:15:10 - Maria gives a compelling argument as to why the mentality of a non-profit needs to change from an organization that runs on donations that solely does programming, to a business plan centered around utilizing donations in marketing so that a $100 donation can be turned into a $1,000.

1:21:15 - Maria's exciting, newest venture is a wine club that ships direct to consumer and 50% of the profits go to directly to the Humanity Del Sol non-profit for orphaned children in Argentina - often abused, trafficked and worse without help.

Humanity Wine Company:

Humanity Del Sol:

Full Episode (YouTube):


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