Beamlak Petros ’26 poses for a photo.
Brandon Woller ’17/University of St. Thomas

Sophomore Innovates for Global Equity

Recently winning the University of St. Thomas Business Plan Competition and the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge with her business concept Waste Compo, Beamlak Petros ’26 is certainly thriving as a Tommie.

Aiming to alleviate two issues pressing on Ethiopian society – hunger and shortage of fertilizer, her concept received wide-scale attention on a recent trip to San Diego, where the second-year Tommie presented her ideas to a large community of social entrepreneurs.  

Beamlak Petros ’26 (Brandon Woller ’17/University of St. Thomas)

Innovation is at the core of Petros’ identity. Breaking away from old perceptions, her project offers a pioneering initiative in garbage collection. By examining the utility of garbage, her company transforms waste into fertilizer. Solving two issues at once, Waste Compo grows the potential for food production and reduces food waste. 

These victories are just the latest in a series of top three placements in entrepreneurship competitions. What makes Petros so successful? A common theme seems to be her unwavering desire to go out of her comfort zone – challenging herself for the better.  

“I learned to advance my confidence (by participating in the competitions),” Petros said. “(I have improved) the ability to speak my opinion in front of a lot of different people and express my ideas in front of people without any hesitation.” 

High praise flows when fellow students are asked about their classmate. Noah MacDonald ’26 competed against Petros in the St. Thomas Business Plan Competition.

“Beamlak’s presentation left a profound impact on me. The narrative she shared is among the most compelling stories I’ve come across at St. Thomas. I deeply admire her creative thinking and unwavering commitment to addressing pressing social issues,” MacDonald said. 

Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Associate Dean and Best Buy Chair Danielle Ailts Campeau (l) with Beamlak Petros ’26 at the St. Thomas Business Plan Competition. (Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas)

Hearing the compliment leaves Petros visibly moved. “This means a lot to me. Being a sophomore in the University of St. Thomas has been a great opportunity for me. I know I’m on the right track and I’m so grateful,” she said. 

Growing up with a successful entrepreneur as a father influenced her. His passion and dedication inspired her to pursue a path where she could have meaningful impact. Additionally, by minoring in actuarial science, she aims to gain a deeper understanding of risk management and financial analysis, essential skills for navigating the challenges in Ethiopia and other African countries.  

“My goal is to leverage entrepreneurship as a tool for positive change and innovation in addressing the pressing issues facing our communities.” 

My goal is to leverage entrepreneurship as a tool for positive change and innovation in addressing the pressing issues facing our communities.” 

Beamlak Petros ’26

Relationships mean everything to Petros. Moving beyond just peers, she regards her classmates as collaborators, supporters, and friends.  

“We share a common passion for entrepreneurship and learning, and together, we push each other to grow and succeed,” she said.  

Together, the classmates share diverse perspectives and experiences, enriching each other’s journeys and building community.  

Every day when Petros wakes up, she is filled with motivation. She cites her faith in God as essential to her drive.  

Beamlak Petros ’26 (Brandon Woller ’17/University of St. Thomas)

“Knowing that I am created with a purpose and that God is with me every step of the way fills me with a sense of purpose and direction,” she said. 

A grounding presence, her faith reminds her that she’s never alone. Providing guidance and support, her faith leaves her confident even when faced with obstacles. 

Petros dreams big for the future. She wants to own a venture that contributes to social progress in the world. She wants to foster innovation, promote sustainable growth and see prosperity reach more communities globally. “I aim to leave a lasting legacy of positive change and inspire others to join in the pursuit of a brighter, more equitable future for all,” she said.