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Leveraging passion for Microfinance and Entrepreneurship

Via LinkedIn : “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”.

Dilin Lim, alumnus of the Master in Advanced Finance 2009, is from Singapore. Despite being the youngest student of her class at that time, Dilin was very clear about her future goals and identified herself with the entrepreneurial spirit of IE. Before coming to IE, she had the plan of establishing a socially responsible microfinance venture in the future and was working for a while as the Director for Grameen Foundation Singapore. Dilin had always been enthusiastic about venture companies and sovereign funds to help the good causes in Southeast Asia.

After finishing the Master in Advanced Finance at IE, Dilin has been following her passion which took her on an interesting journey. She started with working as a financial analyst for a bank in Andorra, and later on established her own business. Let´s hear Dilin´s story.

I would like to share with you my journey from choosing a great business school to finally setting up my small business. I am the founder of Language Passion, a company providing settlement in Spain services, study abroad student packaged services for highly skilled individuals and their families to study, work, and live in Spain. My area of expertise includes banking, investments, and financial advising, and legal paper work matters. I had received a scholarship to study the Master in Advanced Finance at IE. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, cooking, hiking, volunteering at retirement homes and have helped at microfinance ventures in Philippines and Africa. I am also the director of Grameen Foundation Singapore, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to alleviating poverty in Philippines.

Years back in Singapore, I found that IE provides a well-rounded, innovative Master in Advance Finance course of a year and most importantly IE places importance on social entrepreneurship such as social impact and social ventures. In 2008, microfinance was seen as relatively new and innovative in Finance Masters programs and was not included in the Finance program of many business schools. But IE had it already included in the MIAF program!

I always had 2 dreams: one is to bring more easily accessible microfinance funding to Africa and the other is to set up my own business.

After I graduated from IE’s Masters in Advanced Finance, I worked for 3 years in Private Banking. That allowed me to accumulate experience and knowledge in bank account opening, and financial advising that I will need for my current business. I also had a 300% salary jump after I graduated which is helping me to achieve my goals.

Me as an entrepreneur

I just feel very excited, purposeful and really enjoy working on Language Passion. I have been facing many challenges as an entrepreneur, I had to learn to cope with uncertainty and be tough skin. Uncertainty is inherent in businesses and I have learnt to ride through the gloomy periods of my business. I learnt to be open to negative feedback, and I discovered that criticisms are actually inverted compliments. People criticize it because it’s worth doing it. And the best thing that happened for me is that I get to help many people that were like me previously, struggling before I arrived as a student and after my graduation regarding my residence. I already helped numerous families from Asia for instance from Beijing, settle in Spain. I have also helped numerous IE fellows solve their rental issues.

Inspiration

Like many successful entrepreneurs, my role model is Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, especially for his inspirational quote: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”. If there is something that I learnt and would like to share with my fellow alumni that are looking to be an entrepreneur, I must say it’s the value of perseverance. I always remind myself of this story, when hiccups surface: “What does mum says to the baby when he falls down while learning to walk? Does mum say, don’t walk anymore? What?! Are you crazy mum! The baby tries until, they learn how to walk! Magic formula!”

As for my future plans, I am currently working on helping students move to Spain and expats get their second residence in Spain quickly and smoothly.

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