By GraceUsher

The Open World Leadership Program sponsored by the Library of Congress brought five Russian young entrepreneurs to Lake Havasu City with the help of the Lake Havasu Rotary Club.

The O.W.L.P. is aimed to promote understanding between entrepreneurs and business owners from different nations. Each participant in the program is first nominated to be part of the experience and then completes an application outlining their accomplishments and future goals.

These entrepreneurs are business owners in a range of industries. The businesses include fashion designing and manufacturing, jewelry making, maternal and professional life coaching, and online business management.

The group spent more than a week in several educational and business-based meetings with local business owners, community organizations including London Bridge Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce.

The O.W.L.P. winners visited from Russia to discuss all-things business. Grace Usher/RiverScene

They attended multiple panels discussing the aspects of marketing and business tactics. They met the students, staff and faculty of ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City and were hosted for a meet-and-greet with Mayor Mark Nexon. The group also visited a boat manufacturing company as well as the famous London Bridge multiple times.

With full immersion into local business strategy education, knowledge was shared with O.W.L.P. participants. The group recognized that both Russia and the United States are full of intelligent and dedicated entrepreneurial mindsets. Both countries have a natural competitiveness that fosters positive productivity and goal attainment, according to participants.

Matt Brewster of the London Bridge Resort meets with the group and their interpreter . Photo RSM team

As First World countries, the presence of technology has strongly influenced the evolution of businesses in both areas. Many of the entrepreneurs run their businesses partially or solely online. Much is the same with the American industries.

On a community level, the willingness to volunteer one’s time for a greater cause is only in development in the northern nation. Lake Havasu is home to a plethora of community organizations, many of which are volunteer-based. In Russia, volunteer organizations are only beginning to make a presence and the entire concept in currently is economically fresh, the group said.

In addition to analyzing differences in occupational habits between Russia and the United States, the visitors were also keen to notice a few cultural differences. One of the biggest agreements among the group was that residents of Lake Havasu had a more noticeably pleasant demeanor. 

Another apparent difference was, of course, the weather. Russia is stereotyped as cold and cloudy and the visitors confirmed.

“Very hot” was the overall consensus of the group.

The Russian entrepreneurs of the Open World Leadership Program said they hope to take the positive attitude and great weather with them back to Russia. The willingness to help others they witnessed in Lake Havasu is something they said they all possess innately in Russia but there is a need for more. Team spirit and community support is the biggest token of wisdom gained, according to the visitors.


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