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Up Close and Personal: Naa Dedei Coleman

She's a freshman psychology major who wants to change the world. And she sees the Close School as the perfect training ground to make it happen.

May 8, 2014

When you first meet Naa Dedei Coleman, you might think she’s on the introverted side. She’ll stay quiet for a while. She’ll bide her time. But that impression changes the instant you get her talking — which she does fast and passionately. In fact, she even admits to talking to herself sometimes to flesh out particularly difficult decisions. She’s no introvert. She’s more like an extrovert with a filter. And the best way to remove the filter is to get her talking about entrepreneurship.

The psychology major from Accra, Ghana, is taking all the entrepreneurship courses her schedule allows. She’s also using the ELLC as a first step toward making a lasting and positive impact on those around her.

“I want to do something to help improve the world,” she says, “so the ELLC is my training ground and stepping stone to do just that.”

As she wraps up her freshman year, Coleman joined us to talk about why entrepreneurship is so important to her, and how it can fuel social change.

What’s your story? How did you get to this point as an inaugural member of the ELLC?

I was on the board for Junior Achievement in my senior year of high school, and I had fun running a business. That is what pushed me to apply to be part of the ELLC.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

My grandfather telling my mother I was the greatest achievement she would ever accomplish.

Tell me about the best conversation you ever had. What made it so incredible?

My father gave me a lecture on masters and slaves. It was interesting because I now realize it was my first philosophy lesson. It was about how masters were the real slaves because without the slaves, they could not do anything on their own.

Tell me about a time when you forced yourself to step outside your comfort zone and it paid off.

Standing for library prefect in my senior year of high school. I really hate working under people, so it was a tough year and working with people who were uncooperative made it worse, but I am proud to say after that experience, I can take on any role I am given.

As an entrepreneur, are you an ideator, innovator, starter, grower or exiter? 

More of an ideator and trying to pick up the skills of the rest.

What is your personal definition of entrepreneurship? Why are you an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is someone who finds a solution to a problem. This solution should however be for the greater good of the society, not just to make profit.

Who is your personal hero? Why?

I have many heroes because there is something admirable in everyone. Very few people have admirable qualities without many less admirable ones.

Tell me something about you no one would ever know. Any guilty pleasures? Hidden talent?

I make my best decisions by talking to myself.

What is your fondest memory since you came to Drexel?

Going to the Close School office and being treated like family.

Why is entrepreneurship education so important to learn in a college setting?

It opens your mind to so many opportunities and chances out there that you never realize until you have the entrepreneurial mindset. 

What is your individual brand? If you had a catchphrase, what would it be?

That little extra in extraordinary makes all the difference.

Favorite movie?

Legally Blonde

Favorite band/group?

Maroon 5

Favorite book?

Lucky by Jackie Collins

Favorite Philly eating spot?

Sitar, because it’s the closest I can get to African food that I can get delivered.

Favorite entrepreneur? Why?

Steve Jobs, because I am as crazy as I hear he was.