A Successful AUBG Alumnus Meets with Scholarship RecipientsApril 07, 2015
Whether as a speaker, board member, university benefactor, or proud alumnus, Elvin Guri continues to be devoted to AUBG’s liberal arts mission. That devotion brought him back to campus recently to speak at a conference and to meet with students.
Guri, from Albania, enrolled in AUBG shortly after the rise of democracy in the region. He majored in economics and history and his first work experiences included positions in PricewaterhouseCoopers and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Later, he co-founded several successful finance-focused start-ups and he is now recognized for his successful track record in entrepreneurship and finance.
Guri leads Empower Capital, an investment fund implemented under the EU’s JEREMIE Program, which has already funded more than 20 undertakings. Guri firmly believes that education is a powerful tool that can advance development in the region, and he said he fervently supports several educational initiatives and institutions like the American University in Bulgaria and Teach for Bulgaria.
Guri visited AUBG at the recently completed StartUp conference in Blagoevgrad. The first speaker introduced at the event, he was warmly welcomed by the audience. “Thank you very much for the introduction and the opportunity,” he said at the beginning of his speech. "Thank you for the most important cause that I support- which is the American University in Bulgaria”
Guri used the occasion to meet with some of the students who were awarded the Vehip and Natasha Guri Scholarship, a merit-based grant generously provided by him and offered to outstanding students of Albanian or Bulgarian origin.
During a short meeting with scholarship recipients, he reminded them that no matter how successful they become, they cannot be truly happy unless they give back to the society they live in. He further emphasized that one cannot live comfortably in a society in which others are not doing well.
Guri said that helping others is the prime motivation underlying all his business, voluntary, and benevolent activities. Following his short speech and a discussion, Guri talked with each scholarship recipient. He listened carefully, offered advice, and shared his experience. He recalled his experience as a scholarship student during his study at AUBG and managed to communicate and connect with students in an informal manner.
“Elvin Guri is a person who the Albanian and Bulgarian communities will be forever grateful to because of his constant investment in educating the youth,” said AUBG senior Ina Gjika, summarizing the meeting and discussion. “However, every time I have the chance to meet Mr. Guri, I cannot help but notice his humbleness, which makes him even more respected as a figure.”
Guri said that he is always open to hear students’ opinions, both as an individual and as an AUBG board member. He encouraged students to be more proactive and urged them to contact him after the meeting.
Finally, he stressed that AUBG is an institution with a great potential that should continue to attract the best talent in the region.
Story by Emanuil Dimitrov
Photography by Tatyana Ten