Gunel İsmayılova: Passionate about Empowering Kids Through Drama at “Nagilchi” Creative Atelier

September 28, 2023

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and your experience. Specify any relevant details in your upbringing that contributed to developing your social business idea later on.

I am Gunel and I love talking and meeting new people. I worked in various positions. But I always think about how to change people, how to make society better. So I had a hobby, to teach kids drama. Drama helps them to understand what they need, to talk freely, and to communicate easily. Kids with disabilities can also join us and we help them to be a part of the community in a fun way. After feeling unhappy at my company, I decided to make my hobby my business. I had a manager who wasn’t able to understand his employer, because of his ego. So I started my business and it is getting better every day.


What is the main challenge you want to solve? – Be as specific as possible: who, where, when?

I want to teach kids how to have a better community, so maybe after 10-15 years, we will have better, happier, disability-friendly people.


How did you first hear about the social business concept? When did you realize you were leading a social business?

I started the business, for me it was charity. But after applying to different projects and getting to know new people I realized that it isn’t charity, I have a social business


What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? And the least? (Answer in paragraphs)

I love how I can make changes, and the last part is to work nonstop.


What is the most important lesson you learned in your journey as a social entrepreneur so far?

First, you need to value yourself.

How did you hear about the Y&Y Fellowship Program?

Sara Rajabli


What motivated you to apply?

I am always my own motivator.


How has your journey as a Y&Y Fellow been so far?

It is really hard because we have a lot of deadlines.


Why is it important to have the support of a mentor?

I wish I had better mentors :).


What advice would you give to a young person who is starting a social business?

Don’t forget to take a break.


What advice would you give to someone considering applying to the Y&Y Fellowship Program?

Be ready for the challenges!

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