Skip to content

Naly Rice Discusses Entrepreneurship With Students, Faculty & Staff at UNC Pembroke

Naly Rice, Entrepreneur, Writer, and Keynote Speaker, returned to her alma mater and enjoyed a successful taped segment of “Entrepreneur Talk” at The Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub located at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

She was interviewed by Victoria Huggins, Miss North Carolina 2017, also a fellow alumna of UNC Pembroke. They discussed a variety of topics around entrepreneurship, working in technology, advice for students who want to become business owners and sharing Naly’s journey from childhood, college, and post-grad life in startups and technology that eventually led her to become an entrepreneur.

Here are some highlights from the hour-long segment.

1. Don’t fear failure because everyone fails or sucks at something. Get up & try again.

2. Take classes that interest you and challenge who you are & your world view.

3. Do internships because learning and spending 9-5 doing are two very different things.

4. Travel & be open to learning new people & cultures. You must learn diplomacy and teamwork to be an effective leader.

5. Each stage of your business requires something different of you. Don’t be the bottleneck due to lack of self awareness.

6. Hire the right people, and get out of the way.

7. Perfect isn’t real. Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to be imperfect & find the right solutions.

8. Are you solving a real market problem with a customer base that sees its value or do you like the idea of starting a business?

9. Surround yourself with older, wiser, smarter & more educated people than you. Don’t be afraid to know the least in the room & observe.

10. Be smart financially as early as possible. I missed fancy handbags, vacations & outings so I could save, pay staff & reinvest in the business. Short term gains < Long-term victories.

11. Be careful what you wish for. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle & mindset. It’s a lot of hard work at the end of the day that requires stamina, mental, emotional & physical perseverance. It’s not for everyone & that’s ok.

My dad is a mentor I look up to. He has strong work ethic and always strived to be the best at whatever he was doing. He taught me to have fun with work, focus on mastering the craft, and competing with myself. To this day, he still asks me if I’m working hard and having fun.

Naly Rice

Naly Rice’s University Highlights

Naly Rice attended The University of North Carolina at Pembroke in the fall of 2006 and graduated in spring 2010. She lived on campus freshman year in Belk Hall, an all girl’s dormitory. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations.

She enjoyed a vibrant and active college career with a multitude of opportunities through campus-life at UNC Pembroke.

  • — Founded and was President of The Asian Student Association.
  • — Public Relations Chair of the Student Government.
  • — Member of the Diversity Council of Presidents
  • — Fellow of the exclusive UNC in Washington, DC program where she lived and interned on Capitol Hill while studying Public Policy and Global Affairs.
  • — Studied abroad through the university’s exchange program to The University of Technology Sydney in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; studied Branding and Public Communication.
  • — Worked at the Mary Livermore Library as a Librarian’s Assistant.
  • — Worked as an Office Secretary at the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs.
  • — Worked at The Pine Needle as an Assistant Advertising Manager and Graphic Designer.

The Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub

The Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub (Thomas Center) is located at 202 Main Street in downtown Pembroke. The 20,000 square-foot beautifully renovated building features tall ceilings with exposed beams, 9 private offices, 16 semi-private cubicles, an Idea Lab, Marker’s Space, conference rooms, and also an accelerator space to help aspiring entrepreneurs jumpstart their ideas in to thriving new businesses. A 24 seat co-working space doubling as an events space is among the many amenities this building offers.

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is a master’s-level university with a spirited community of over 8,300 students.

Each student is an individual at UNCP. Our students get a chance to make names for themselves — to stand out in a warm and welcoming community that wants them to succeed — and experience a rare combination of opportunities, cultures and ideas that can’t be found anywhere else.

Located in the southeastern North Carolina town of Pembroke, UNCP has a rich American Indian history and is one of the safest campuses in the University of North Carolina System. With small class sizes, a low student-faculty ratio and one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, UNCP is a growing university that empowers students to go on to live vibrant, fulfilling lives.