MO.com is proud to partner with The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC):
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The Y.E.C promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.
Benjamin Leis is the self-entitled Janitor/Creative Director/Owner of Sweat EquiTees. Created in March of 2011, Sweat EquiTees is an expression of entrepreneurship nationwide. They’re crazy about the spirit and passion business owners have for their vision of changing the world. Sweat EquiTees want to see businesses grow like wildfire in the US, and once again return this nation to its storied tradition of entrepreneurial success through ingenuity, innovation and creativity.
Sweat EquiTees are here to help entrepreneurs wear their pride on their sleeves, literally. Their mission is to support entrepreneurship by providing the clothing to display that pride and through their evocative designs, inspire would-be entrepreneurs to engage with those entrepreneurs that wear them.
It’s Global Entrepreneurship Week!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we want to celebrate!
Use promo code GEW to get a FREE T-Shirt with your purchase.
MO: You only started up in this past March, are you seeing any repeat business yet?
Benjamin: Yes absolutely, we have a number of fanatic customers that continually buy our new releases and can’t wait for new designs to come out. Entrepreneurs like Jason Viglione, Casey Walsh, and others, are our champions that keep us on our toes to improve each new line.
MO: Where does your passion for entrepreneurship come from?
Benjamin: It all began my freshman year of college at the University of Miami where I started the Golf Club. It was an entrepreneurial endeavor in every sense of the word. I had to create a service, market it and raise money to fund it. Sweat EquiTees is now the sixth organization that I have created since then. I can’t get enough.
MO: What’s surprised you the most about having your own company?
Benjamin: I am always amazed by people’s reactions to our products. If you’re an entrepreneur you know that the down days out number the good ones in the early startup process. When I get an email from someone like Chris Cashman that reads: “Love your shirts. I can’t wait to be the first to wear them in Seattle,” or a tweet from Peter Shankman that says “I want to be one of your model entrepreneurs,” those words are incredibly uplifting and will make my month.
MO: Your Adopt a Tee program donates $1 from every shirt to an organization that teaches and encourages entrepreneurship. As a start up with limited resources, what’s inspired you to be charitable from the beginning?
Benjamin: I wanted our shirts to be about something bigger, not just the promotion of entrepreneurship, but making sure that it’s alive and well for years to come by funding youth entrepreneurship education. I also knew that these shirts would create a platform, a centerpiece for discussion and I wanted a part of that conversation to be about youth entrepreneurship so that these organizations get the attention they deserve.
MO: What’s been your favorite feedback so far on the concept behind your Sweat Equitee shirts? Do you feel like you’re making a difference?
Benjamin: My roommate, William Corbera always talks about the way our shirts make him feel when he puts them on, about how proud he is to be an entrepreneur and for him to be able to express that emotion. We also get continuous feedback from customers who say that the shirts have started conversations with complete strangers asking them about their businesses. If we can ignite new relationships like that and allow people to positively convey an internal feeling I think we are doing something especially meaningful.
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