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This Business Accelerator Program Empowers Small Business to Thrive

Kristine Nguyen

Participant, EO Accelerator; Founder, Pretty Books

Growing up, I had big dreams. However, I was quickly deterred by the reality of my financial limitations. Becoming an entrepreneur was the result of my quest to discover freedom for myself.  

Finding my path

As the eldest sibling of three, organizational skills and handling responsibility came naturally to me. So, I went to work doing whatever I could and juggled multiple gigs and part-time jobs. I eventually landed my first client, a band manager who needed help tallying business receipts. 

Through numbers, I discovered a world of adventure, courage and love fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit. I was mesmerized. After several years of freelancing, I realized that I needed to build a team. Today, my business, Pretty Books, is a concoction of my passion for business, technology and finance.

Gratitude where due

I must give thanks to the business owners and professionals I had the opportunity to work under. It was through these relationships that I understood the value of mentorship and the possibility of community. When my business was at a standstill, I knew that the only way to grow was to learn from the experience of those who came before me. 

I joined EO Accelerator because I knew that a business accelerator program was the ideal place to find the serious mentorship I craved. I knew the program would connect me with a community of successful business owners who have experience managing employees and scaling operations. 

Accelerate, and beyond

Through the program, specifically the Learning Days program, I can explore different aspects of business alongside my entrepreneurial peers. Running a business is tough, and it’s even tougher if you are doing it alone. The EO Accelerator program surrounds me with other entrepreneurs who are working hard on their businesses with an action-based agenda. I feed off the energy of my fellow entrepreneurs — they inspire me to work just as hard. 

In addition, I have used tools and knowledge gained during Learning Days to modify my business model and processes. Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs with the same mindset creates intention and helps me stay focused.

Being a woman in a STEM-related career can be intimidating, especially when most people in the room are men, often older, and more experienced. I remind myself to stay humble, acknowledge the skill and wisdom of those before me, and never stop learning. At the core of what I do is art — it just happens that I use finance as a medium for expression. EO Accelerator provides me with a community of peers I can turn to for resources, guidance, and friendship. For the first time, I’m not alone! Having a community of entrepreneurs who are on similar journeys is powerful: they’re like a cheerleading backdrop, providing me with stability and the courage to think bigger and bolder.

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