About me

024I’m a writer trapped in a do-gooder’s body. I care passionately about economic development issues, especially entrepreneurship – social or otherwise. I write a weekly column, Entreventures, on Forbes.com. In between I practice yoga, read and write, sometimes for the Huffington Post. I love all things Turkey, the Middle East, and the Mets. I hate onions. My biggest project these days: writing a book about innovative entrepreneurs around the world.

Over the past two decades I’ve worked to support entrepreneurs in emerging markets at Endeavor, served as the Chief Spokesperson for the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo and assisted Madeleine K. Albright, first when she was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and then when she became Secretary of State. I’m a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an advisory board member for the Turkish Women’s International Network, Turkish Philanthropy Funds and Invest2Innovate, a social enterprise working in Pakistan. I’m also a proud mentor for the Unreasonable Institute.

From Bosnia to Wonderment

For a long time I believed that government and only government could save the world. That’s why I spent more than a decade working first at the U.S. State Department and then at the OSCE Mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo.

It was in Bosnia that I came to the frustrating realization that only government would not save the world. I became disillusioned with bureaucracy and the constant focus on procedure over people. After four years in Sarajevo I returned to New York. That’s where I discovered Endeavor, a non-profit helping for-profit high-impact entrepreneurs in the developing world.

africaAnd then I discovered The Acumen Fund, Technoserve, Agora Partnerships, E & Co. and many other organizations helping promising entrepreneurs build successful businesses.  They are entrepreneurs that are creating jobs, generating wealth and innovating solutions. Some of these are solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges such as health, education and the environment. Others are cutting-edge breakthroughs in medicine, science and technology. All are entrepreneurs that are transforming their developing communities. They are entrepreneurs that have left me in wonderment – and introduced me to a new approach that will help save the world.

Because I’m obsessed with books, Turkey, the Middle East and the Mets, those are things you’ll find on elmirabayrasli.com as well.