WDI is a founding partner of the Michigan Academy for the Development of Entrepreneurs (MADE), along with Poornatha Foundation in India and the Zell Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. MADE was established to support small- and medium-sized enterprises in low-and middle-income countries through Entrepreneur Development Organizations (EDOs). Over the past year, MADE was founded and began developing an instrument used by entrepreneurs to assess specific challenges and develop recommendations on actions they can take to improve their performance. MADE has two distinguishing features.
First, MADE’s role in connecting the resources of the University of Michigan (U-M) with the EDOs in the field is reflected in its governance, which has a role for different parts of U-M and for EDOs. Thus, the EDOs have a direct role in determining the products and services offered by MADE.
Second, MADE has a permanent executive director, but is otherwise completely student run. In the first year, MBA students worked with Ross faculty and staff, the Institute for Social Research at U-M and the university’s Psychology department, among other areas, in developing the survey. The team oversaw the development of the first product, the survey tool and laid out a plan for the coming years including expansion plans to countries beyond India.