The Center for Entrepreneurship at EMU hosted an online Zoom webinar on Thursday, April 8, for their Winter 2021 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series which featured Lisa Bee, CEO of Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea.
The Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, as stated by the President of the Center for Entrepreneurship, “provides students with an excellent opportunity to engage with community entrepreneurs who share their experiences of running a successful business.”
Founded by Bee and her husband in 1993, Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea now has locations in 13 different states, ranging from Michigan to Texas. The pair began their business in Ann Arbor, Michigan and they have now been working on growing it into a national franchised brand. Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea is a coffeehouse that incorporates classic cafe elements while also embracing globally influenced coffee and teas in a positive and friendly environment. Read more about their business, here.
Dr. Sanjib Chowdhury, a professor at EMU, says that Bee is an inspiration.
“Lisa Bee is one of the success stories in our local community and she has been an aspiring entrepreneur, and she started her business after her college degree. Many of our students are customers of Sweetwaters, and they know this place and they will now get to see her and talk to her, and see how she became such an inspiring entrepreneur right after she came out of college,” Chowdhury said.
At the webinar, Lisa Bee spoke about her experience in starting her own business, and discussed some of the hardships and difficulties that came from both growing Sweetwaters into a national franchised brand, and running a business during the pandemic. Bee also spoke about the new app that the business had created where customers can order ahead and earn points for rewards. View the app, here.
Finally, the webinar included a Q&A section where attendees were able to ask for additional advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Lisa Bee spoke on some of the most important characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, including passion, creativity, and determination.
“I believe this [event] will extend our goal of offering co-curricular activities and knowledge to our students, and also inspire our students,” states Chowdbury on featuring Lisa Bee in the Speaker Series.