Meet Our #29DaysofHope Winner, Doina Oncel

Someone once asked Doina Oncel, “Can you take that tweet to the bank?” Well, it turns out you can and that's exactly what she did.

Doina Oncel is a woman who has never accepted “no” as an answer. Her life has been a series of trials and misfortunes, but like many true underdog stories, it's filled with courage, survival and passion. After leaving behind an abusive relationship, Doina didn't have a job, house or money to lean on for support. The only thing she had were her two daughters, and a small, significant memory of something her Grandmother once told her.

“She always use to say 'Doina you were born to be somebody, don't ever forget that.'” Oncel said. “This is something that has stuck with me my whole life. It's a message that I try to tell everyone I meet.”

Doina always had a passion for business. It's safe to say that she was born to be a people person who would conquer the world with her intelligence. But how was this all going to happen? Determined to start her own business, she combined her business skills with technology. The result? A match made in heaven. Doina and her daughters had finally settled into a house after living in a shelter. She was sitting at home bored, thinking of a way to reach out to people. Then it hit her—create a Twitter profile.

“I remember feeling so lonely when I was in the shelter. I could only have scheduled visitors, and it was just terrible because there was nobody to talk to. When I got Twitter, I had no idea what I was getting myself into," She explained.  "I started messaging a bunch of different people, running my ideas by them and I started to get a lot of positive support.”

Despite a positive welcoming from new Twitter followers, Doina received a lot of criticism from family and friends.

“Nobody knew how strong it was going to be. People close to me thought there would be no money in Twitter or any social media sites and that I was crazy to invest any time in it. I still laugh every time I think about it."

Since her humble beginnings as a striving entrepreneur, Doina has gone on to become the founder of Doina's Infinite Solutions, a social media agency that helps up-and-coming business developers develop their ideas. But the project that is closest to Doina's heart is hEr VOLUTION, a non-profit organization that helps give women opportunities and education in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics). After living life in the shadows of torment, Doina– a now new-and -improved, mother of two and a hungry entrepreneur, now had the world as her oyster. But she didn't want to experience it alone.

“It all started because of my older daughter’s interest in technology. I noticed there wasn't a lot of opportunities for women in this field. We have so much to offer and learn in this world. Everyone should feel like they have a chance.”

With every stepping stone in the business world, there's constant thoughts of failure and people who believe that what you're doing is crazy and it will never succeed. So how do you deal with all the negativity that comes with starting your own business?

“I am all for people giving me advice, to help me succeed. But if you tell me, 'Oh that's stupid, it’s not going to work, and you should do it this way.' I say to them, 'Well, what have you done?'”

So can we describe the perfect definition of a motivational, inspirational woman? Doina's underdog story has everyone standing up and cheering. Her bravery and willingness to never settle for less than what you deserve is a lesson that we can all use every once in a while. Just remember ladies, always stay strong and keep moving forward.

As the winner of our #29DaysofHope contest, Doina received a makeover from our sponsors H&M (outfit), Almay (makeup) and Kevin Murphy (hair). See her incredible transformation below: 

Tags: Canadian, Doina Oncel, inspiring woman

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