The definition of an entrepreneur is blurry. For some people it’s the ability to build a business up from nothing. It’s the ability to call yourself a business owner. Some people consider being an entrepreneur just short of being an inventor. Definitions are hard to get a solid hit on most of the time but there is one thing most people can agree on where entrepreneurs are concerned. An entrepreneur is someone who builds something. It might be a business, it might be a foundation, or it could even be a movement. What an entrepreneur builds might not always be physical in the sense that you hold it in your hand. It could be an idea that grows and flourishes with each step an entrepreneur makes. The goal of being an entrepreneur is not always to build a traditional business. Sometimes the finish line is less physical and more mental. It’s a testament to just how inimitable the world of entrepreneurism can be.
Ednaline Concepcion co-founded the Linmarie Concepcion Memorial Charity after a life changing event. “We opened the charity after my daughter passed away from cancer. The purpose of the organization is to inspire, educate, and aid the fight against cancer. My daughter was diagnosed in October of 2013. Unfortunately she passed away in May 2014. We wanted to create a scholarship at George Mason University where she was an alumnus. She was a rower for 4 years and we were able to establish that. We wanted to go ahead and create awareness of the type of cancer that she had. She had a very rare type of cancer for females which is Germ Cell Cancer. Raising money to be a part of the research to find out why women are so resistant to chemotherapy. When it’s found in men it’s one of the most curable types of cancer.”
Experiences are excellent motivators to get out and start the ball rolling for entrepreneurs. With the passing of her daughter, Ednaline knew she couldn’t sit back. “It started because of my daughters’ friends. They wanted to go ahead and raise the money for the scholarship. They decided to go out and do a race for Linmarie. I’m an army wife so there are no shortcuts [laughs]. We do it right. So I knew that it was a lot to be involved in as far as legalities go. We started finding out how you do a legal organization and that’s how the organization came about. One of the things that I recommend to everyone is that yes, you need a lawyer. They tell you exactly where to go so you don’t waste your time. Have an accountant who has done this in the past as well because they can help you with the IRS. There are high percentages of non-profits which call themselves non-profits and they’re not. If you’re not a 501(c)(3) then you might get in trouble with the IRS. Why get in trouble when you can do it right?”
A charity is a completely different animal from a traditional business but even a charity must play by the rules of business. Ednaline points out that running a charity is on the same level. “You have to run it as a business,” she says, “even though we don’t want to use the word profitable because then people think you’re making money. We want to make money because we’re making money for somebody else. We need accountants because we want our books to be squared up. You have to make sure you have money to give away since you do need to pay for things like marketing. The number one thing that businesses need when they open there door is social media, they need a website. Businesses need all the social media platforms in order for them to be out there and be seen. That’s the way you run a business. You have to look at it like a business because it’s a business that you created to help others.”
With the Linmarie Concepcion Memorial Charity, the mission and driving point behind the charity is evident in its name alone. What fuels the charity to continue springs from the character of Linmarie. “She was a 29-year-old female. She was vivacious and full of life. It’s funny to say that in 2013 she went and ran a half marathon – which is 13.1 miles. All of a sudden she started feeling a little bit short of breath. We attributed a lot of symptoms to asthma since she was asthmatic as a young child. She used to work for CitiBank and then all of a sudden she changed and went to work for the Warranty Group where her brother was working. She had a new job and was traveling and then she went to the doctor and found out she had bronchitis. Nothing happened. The long story short was that they did a CT scan and found a massive mass on her chest. It was attached to her lung. The way Germ Cell Cancer works is that it comes into the core of your body. When she was 17 she had a cyst on her ovary. That was the beginning of the cancer. It was so premature that it didn’t test positive for cancer. But Linmarie never did anything halfway. All this time that she was home during hospice, she would wake up each morning and get a shower…she would put makeup on, her clothes, and her jewelry. She told me that she was going to do it her way – with dignity. That this was the way she wanted to do it. That’s the way that she was. That was Linmarie.”
With the Linmarie Concepcion Memorial Charity working to raise funds to aid research the organization continues to grow in scale. Ednaline provides one final message, “Educate people. My inspiration is my daughter. Educate people of the unknown. Sometimes people are afraid of the unknown. After you educate them, let them come and join you in this journey that we have. You will be amazed of how many people sympathize with you. Cancer is the big C-word. It’s there. It’s out there and if we cover it with our hands, it’s still there. Let’s go ahead and do something about it.”
Thanks to Ednaline Concepcion for this interview. Visit the Linmarie Concepcion Memorial Charity to learn more about the race, golf tournament, and all upcoming events.