Scholarship turns new grad into full-time entrepreneur

Most students aim to have a job lined up when they graduate, but Miriam Zine (BRLS ’19) took a chance and created her own.

With the support she received from the Deborah E. Rosati Award, Zine was able to take a natural hair community she built on Instagram and turn it into an online retail shop.

Zine started the Instagram page Curly Lifestyles in 2017 when she started embracing her natural hair and realized there was a lack of education and resources easily available to people looking to do the same. The page quickly gained traction and now has more than 32,000 followers.

“Natural hair shouldn’t be as complicated as it is,” said Zine. “A lot of people don’t like their natural hair because they don’t know how to manage it. Curly Lifestyles is about loving your hair and being comfortable enough to wear it out confidently.”

Her business pairs knowledge and resources to help simplify the natural hair world and provides easy access to a variety of products based on hair type. Customers unsure about their needs have access to assistance in choosing the right product.

The $10,000 award provided Zine funding to work through the summer in Goodman Group’s Venture Development office and gave her access to a mentorship team to help move her business forward. She credits the time and support with being able to take her business from an idea to a reality.

“Launching a business was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done,” said Zine. “It took me the full summer to make sure I was ready. This award opened new doors and possibilities for me.”

Since 2014, the scholarship has supported nine entrepreneurs over 10 terms with Zine being the final recipient. Generously provided by Goodman School of Business graduate Deborah Rosati (BAdmin ’84), the funding gave recipients the opportunity to launch a business idea as part of their academic studies. They each received guidance, access to mentors and the ability to easily network with other student entrepreneurs to share best practices and resources with.

“We are deeply appreciative of Deborah’s commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial development of our students,” said Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes. “With Deborah’s generosity, we have nine students who are making a difference and setting their own path forward.”

The scholarship recipients launched a number of diverse businesses, with Rosati noting that all the recipients are very keen, motivated and committed individuals, leaving her impressed with their business ideas that all meet a need in the market.

“I wanted to invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs and create an opportunity for them to launch a business idea as part of their academic studies,” said Rosati.

Her advice to students looking to take an entrepreneurial approach to their career?

“Be passionate, resourceful and persistent.”

Recipients of the Deborah E. Rosati Award:

  • Ian Farr, Founder of Incounter
  • Ethan Foy, Founder of LifePoints
  • Maddie Fuller, Founder of Campus Brainiac
  • Dan Giddings, Founder of Complete Grab
  • Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe (received the award twice)
  • Matthew Kowald, Founder of Caulies
  • Olivia Poulin, Founder of Pupadise
  • Cole Ritchie, Founder of North American Yacht Sales
  • Miriam Zine, Founder of Curly Lifestyles

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