What thoughts do you have about entrepreneurship, and how does it frame your professional and personal experience?
I grew up in Angola. My father had a business there when Angola was a colony of Portugal. After the revolution of Portugal in 1974 and the independence that came afterward, my family sought refuge back in Portugal—where we were originally from. My dad had had his own business in Portugal before. Then he moved his business to Angola, and he lost everything in the revolution and the civil war. It took him several years after we got back to Portugal for him to start his business again.
You might wonder why I would want to go into business and be exposed to the risks that come with being an entrepreneur. It is in my blood; it has always been a passion of mine. As a teenager I started freediving and spearfishing in the south of Portugal. Fish are valuable in Europe, and I remember making quite good money. My brother and I and a friend of ours were the only teenagers in our town with disposable income, and it was because of these activities.
Much later I dropped out of college to start a business that failed, frankly because of lack of experience and lack of capital. I learned that those are two key ingredients to making a venture successful; you need experience and you need capital. That is why I decided to do an MBA and pursue business.