Thriving Business for Thriving Communities in Africa

Play Video about WDI's 30th anniversary dinner celebration featuring the Ralph J Gerson Distinguished Lecture speaker Magatte Wade

Click the image to watch the recording of the Ralph J. Gerson Distinguished Lecturer Magatte Wade.

African Entrepreneur and Advocate Magatte Wade Speaks at This Year’s Ralph J. Gerson Distinguished Lecture

The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI) celebrated its 30th anniversary with the in-person return of the Ralph J. Gerson Distinguished Lecture. The Nov. 10 evening brought together members of the WDI community for a celebratory dinner and moving speech from Magatte Wade, entrepreneur and advocate for African dignity and prosperity.

The lecture is named in honor of the Institute’s longest serving board member, Ralph J. Gerson. Gerson led Guardian Industries Corporation in multiple roles for years, and he currently serves on philanthropic and policy boards across Michigan and the U.S. He is now the Director of the William Davidson Foundation.

Wade kicked off her talk by highlighting the connection she felt with WDI. “When I discovered WDI, I thought, ‘Where have you been my whole life? Maybe I should have started with you,’” she said. Wade is a strong advocate for easing and boosting private business, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses, through economic freedom in Africa. Her work aligns closely with the mission at WDI: equipping economic decision-makers in emerging countries with the tools of commercial success.

Wade, who was born in Senegal and later moved to Europe and the United States, spent years of her life wondering why communities in Africa were suffering from poverty and those in other parts of the world were thriving economically. Eventually, she concluded that the complex and detrimental business policies in many African nations were stunting their economic growth — and she began to advocate for smoother, easier, more functional business opportunities across the continent.

I can’t think of a better ambassador for the mission and the vision of the Institute, which is the power of business to deliver on economic growth and social freedom.

“I can’t think of a better ambassador for the mission and the vision of the Institute, which is the power of business to deliver on economic growth and social freedom,” said WDI President Paul Clyde, as he welcomed her to give her “The Heart of the Cheetah: Entrepreneurship & Prosperity in Africa” talk. Describing her impact and connection to WDI, Clyde explained that Wade is a “tireless supporter of individuals and their ability to create economic value when given the opportunity to do so.”

After detailing the many-layered difficulties that arise when doing business in an African nation from strict government policies, challenging taxes and complex business systems, Wade asked the crowd whether they would choose to do business in a place that created roadblocks or one that allowed for a smooth path. That question, she said, provided the answer she’d been searching for all along. “At the end of the day, you are poor because you have no money. There’s not enough money to take care of your primary needs. You have no money because you have no income. What is the source of income for most of us? Jobs. Where do jobs come from? The private sector. And so don’t you then think that we should make it easy for businesses to be born and thrive.”

This conclusion set her on her path to boost economic freedom and business opportunities across the continent, through her own enterprises, speaking engagements, policy advocacy and powerful global fellowships. Her TED Talk, “Why it is too hard to start a business in Africa — and how to change it” has been viewed by over 600,000 people. She’s a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum at Davos, a TED Global Africa Fellow, and one of Forbes’ “10 Youngest Power Women in Africa.”

Wade has built multiple businesses in Africa inspired by diverse African traditions, including her most recent endeavor, She urges the global community to shift its perspective from aiding African communities. Instead of creating a system that relies on aid, she tells global consumers to “buy African products made in Africa by Africans.” Her point: let business thrive, and Africa will thrive.

Wade has seen the impact her businesses and entrepreneurial mindset have had on herself and others. Her manufacturing-focused businesses have helped boost rural communities’ manufacturing facilities. Meanwhile, Wade continues to advocate for policy changes at the national and local levels through groups like the Atlas Network’s Center for African Prosperity. Still, she knows there’s more room for growth.

“Whatever we’ve been able to accomplish, it would be multiplied by the right business environment,” Wade said. “At the end of the day, I believe that business is the greatest force of good.”

WDI president Paul Clyde speaking with guests.
Michigan Ross Dean Sharon Matusik speaking with WDI board member Ralph Gerson.
Author and entrepreneur, Magatte Wade, presenting at the WDI 30th Anniversary Celebration.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell speaking with WDI Board Member Ralph Gerson and Ross Dean Sharon Matusik.
Ralph Gerson listening to speaker Magatte Wade.
Michigan Ross Dean Sharon Matusik during WDI's 30th anniversary celebration.
Guest speaker Magatte Wade with U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell.
Left to right: WDI President Paul Clyde, Michigan Ross Dean Sharon Matusik, guest speaker Magatte Wade and WDI Board Member Ralph Gerson.
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Participants in the Communication workshop post their selfies to the ExtendEd portal.


How does an educator convene a global classroom across a dozen countries, numerous cultures and differing perspectives? Sometimes, it’s better to instead let the students set the pace. 

WDI’s Education Sector team recently tailored two fully online courses for The Ford Motor Company Fund as part of the Ford Community Impact Fellows Training program. Students accepted into the program work together to advance understanding and new thinking around topics such as innovation and entrepreneurship. 

The courses were tailored to the students’ needs by key personnel at WDI’s Global Virtual Learning Center (GVLC), which was established to advance the field to create international linkages and promote economic growth in emerging markets. Students hailed from a dozen countries including Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco and Sierra Leone. 

“In this day and age, we all need to be continuous learners,” said Amy Gillett, vice president of the Education sector. “In a time when it’s difficult or impossible to bring people together face to face, this format is really effective and it also sets students up for making long-term connections with one another.”

The two fully online courses include one module on developing leadership qualities and a second on improving interpersonal communication skills. About 130 students participated in the leadership module, offered for seven weeks ending April 11, and 179 students are taking part in the five-week communications module, set to end July 12. The leadership course helped participants understand themselves as leaders on both personal and team levels, and drew on the Michigan Model of Leadership. The communications course emphasized cross-cultural communication, managing emotions and interpreting body language across different nationalities and traditions. 

WDI produced the content for the courses, which were hosted on the ExtendEd portal – the Institute’s proprietary learning management system. Students viewed a series of instructional videos on ExtendEd, followed by quizzes to check for comprehension. Students were assigned to teams across countries to work on a project together and practice their new leadership skills. 

While the students were from many different countries, pursuing a wide variety of degrees and occupations – from business to medicine – a well-designed online learning environment was a perfect vehicle for bringing them together. 

“It’s an efficient way to reach people with targeted training, and it’s the way people prefer to learn,” said Gillett. “They want to learn when they have time to learn, even if it’s in 15-minute increments. Students log in at their own pace, learn at their own pace, and take the modules on any device.”

The course is a perfect example of a small private online community – or SPOC – which is designed to nurture an intimate learning environment where students can interact and get to know one another other. 

Learn more about WDI’s approach to online learning 

At the conclusion of the modules, WDI hosts a live webinar to summarize the learning. This is followed by sending participants a series of reminders on what they learned in the course. Such reminders — “Memory Pings” — also prompt them to apply what they learn in the course back on the job.

“It’s vitally important to provide opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders to share new ideas and brainstorm sustainable solutions to make people’s lives better,” said Farah Harb, Global Education Programs Analyst, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Learning and leadership are essential as we navigate and adapt to our constantly changing world.”

Many students found the WDI courses very valuable. 

“Giving back to society and creating positive (impact) has always been my passion. In the world, there are so many challenges facing us,” … to fix these problems, the world needs great leaders with great leadership skills and this course has shown me surely that great leaders can be created or trained,“ wrote one student of the Leadership workshop. 

Another student noted: “This workshop has been an eye opener and I am certain I am ready to work in every environment.”

As a final assignment, the students submitted videos exploring cross-cultural learning and how to apply that knowledge to real-world scenarios. The finalists for the contest and their video stories, can be found below:

1st Place:
Team 11, Learning Group C:
2nd Place:
Team 2, Learning Group A:
3rd Place:
Team 20, Learning Group D:



“These relationships flow both ways: faculty turn to us for help in their work and we will incorporate them in specific projects we are working on. Our work increasingly integrates our expertise between sectors within WDI as well as with the expertise across the university.”


—Paul Clyde, President of WDI

WDI teams of staff and/or students worked on nearly 50 projects in more than 30 countries in 2019. Our work focused on our core consulting sectors – education, energy, finance and healthcare, as well as our management education programs, entrepreneurship development, measurement and evaluation services and the deployment of University of Michigan graduate students around the world. In the course of the year, WDI worked with faculty and researchers at the U-M Ross School of Business, the Zell Lurie Institute, Law School, the School of Public Health, the College of Engineering, the School of Nursing, the College of Literature, Science and Arts, School of Education, College of Pharmacy, Medical School, Kellogg Eye Center, School of Information, and the School of Environment and Sustainability.

“Our work capitalizes on the expertise of our staff as well as the expertise across campus,” said WDI President Paul Clyde. “Over the past 12 months we have worked with 30 faculty and many students from Ross but also students and/or faculty from a number of other schools within U-M. These relationships flow both ways: faculty turn to us for help in their work and we will incorporate them in specific projects we are working on. Our work increasingly integrates our expertise between sectors within WDI as well as with the expertise across the university.”

Here is a closer look at some highlights from 2019:


The Education consulting sector and its Entrepreneurship Development Center (EDC) continued its work on the LIFE Project, which supports refugees in Turkey as they become entrepreneurs in the food sector. In July, WDI staff members Amy Gillett and Kristin Kelterborn and faculty affiliate Eric Fretz visited the Turkish cities of Istanbul and Mersin. Watch a narrated slideshow below of their trip that details the work they did while there and the program graduates they met. Gillett and Kelterborn also wrote an article for WDI’s affiliated NextBillion website on how to accelerate the success of refugee entrepreneurs. 

Building off the success of its M2GATE Program (for more on the program, watch a video below here), WDI’s Education sector is facilitating a new virtual exchange course at the U-M Ross School of Business. Read about Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum here. And read a WDI Impact Report on virtual exchange written in March. 

The Education team also delivered another successful leadership workshop for NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe. Watch an entertaining and informative video on the latest workshop here. The next NGO workshop will take place in May 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. 


WDI’s Energy consulting sector, established formally in 2018, explored the hot topic of renewable mini-grids to increase energy access. Specifically, the energy team is beginning to work with local partners in the Bagladeshi village of Bagdumur to determine the viability of a mini-grid there. In early 2019, WDI also deployed graduate students from the U-M’s School for Environment and Sustainability to study how energy enterprises in India and Uganda perform and how best to document it. 


WDI’s Healthcare consulting sector team members Michael Krautmann and Ben Davis traveled to Tanzania for a U.S. Agency for International Development project to help strengthen that country’s health supply chain systems. Krautmann also sat down for a Q&A about his supply chain work at WDI, and Healthcare sector faculty affiliate Ari Schwayder answered five questions about his favorite health projects to work on. 

WDI’s Healthcare team also conducted a project with the Linked Foundation to inform social enterprise, med-tech, digital health, and private sector investment in Latin America. The Foundation seeks to identify market-based, impact investment opportunities specific to women’s health in Latin America, based on an integrated assessment of the major unmet needs in combination with identification of high-impact solutions and opportunities to foster the enterprise ecosystem and sustainable women’s health solutions. WDI developed an analytic methodology, conducted a landscaping study for Colombia and Peru, and will be publishing the report in January 2020. WDI and the Linked Foundation also had the opportunity to present project findings at four conference settings in the U.S. and Latin America in fall 2019. Linked anticipates this work will inform their investment strategy and catalyze additional resources to the most-needed areas in women’s health in Latin America.

WDI President Paul Clyde wrote an article exploring the profit potential for health care companies in low- and middle-income countries. 

WDI Vice President  for Healthcare Pascale Leroueil continued her work helping global health organizations such as Global Fund, Gavi and WHO to increase the impact of their investments.

At the beginning of 2019, WDI Vice President of Administration Claire Hogikyan traveled to Ethiopia as the first phase of work to help that country find a sustainable solution to its medical waste problem. Her trip led to the deployment of a team of Ross School graduate students a couple of months later. They developed a proposal that was presented to government officials by an organization that plans to begin operations in early 2020 of a medical waste incinerator outside Addis Ababa. 


WDI’s Finance consulting sector partnered with the Ross School of Business and Professor Gautam Kaul on a first-of-its-kind curriculum-based, student-run international investment fund.  

The Finance sector team also partnered with Awash Bank in Ethiopia to study a remittance program to increase peoples’ access to capital. How the program would work is explained in this infographic and in this concept note

Performance Measurement & Improvement

In 2019, the Performance Measurement & Improvement (PMI) team continued work on several ongoing projects, including whether developmental evaluation works in a USAID context and using impact data to develop strategies to increase engagement of women in Colombia’s coffee sector. PMI Senior Research Associate Rebecca Baylor also shared her views in an article exploring whether developmental evaluation is an appropriate assessment strategy

PMI also collaborated with other WDI consulting sectors such as Education, Energy and Healthcare to provide assessment services on their projects, including evaluating the impact of the Business and Culture course. Working alongside the PMI team on that project is WDI Faculty Affiliate Andy Grogan-Kaylor. Read a Q&A about his work and why he enjoys collaborating with the PMI team

The PMI team also attended several conference proceedings in the impact measurement field and often spoke on panels and roundtables about their work. They led several discussions at the November 2019 American Evaluation Association annual conference. After attending and moderating a discussion at a global metrics conference, Baylor wrote about what is being done to incorporate gender equality into the impact measurement space.

Student Opportunities

The past year featured several opportunities for University of Michigan students to participate in WDI-sponsored projects. In all, 76 U-M students traveled abroad for WDI work. 

Occasionally, students may participate in multiple WDI-sponsored projects. To reward these hard-working, committed students, WDI established the Davidson Field Scholar program. There are currently nine students who have earned this honor

WDI sponsored 11 Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP) teams in 2019, and deployed five teams to five countries to study ways to improve healthcare delivery there. One MAP team member who worked in Rwanda recorded her thoughts about the project for a narrated slideshow. (See below).

And we also caught up with a couple of former students – one in South Korea and the other in India – who participated in WDI student projects to see how working on these projects impacted their career paths. 

“While I knew it would serve as a useful resource, I did not realize just how helpful the Institute would be until I got to Ross and started interacting with the staff and professors associated with WDI,” Puneet Goenka, WDI alumnus said.

And as part of the WDI Global Impact Speaker Series, the Institute hosted four guest speakers – Sally Stephens of Medicines360; Tami Kesselman of Aligned Investing Global; Ujjwal Kumar of Honeywell and Efosa Ojomo of the Clayton Christensen Institute. Watch an interview with Stephens here; an interview with Kesselman here; and watch Ojomo’s talk here.




Students video chat with their overseas counterparts as part of the MENA-Michigan Initiative for Global Action Through Entrepreneurship (M²GATE) program in 2018.


Grantees will create opportunities for U.S. and international students to build global competencies and career readiness skills through virtual exchange.


Ann Arbor and Washington, D.C., April 24, 2019 – Today, the Stevens Initiative announced funding for Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum implemented by the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI). Business & Culture is one of six programs selected through an international competition to fund virtual exchange programs in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

WDI is part of the third round of Stevens Initiative grantees. These exchanges will enable thousands of young people to gain the skills that they need to succeed in today’s economy and society, and to establish new cross-cultural connections.

Implemented by WDI, under the Stevens Initiative, Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum  is a classroom-to-classroom, action-learning course on international business cultures that brings together students from Egypt, Lebanon, Libya and the U.S. Participants will attend synchronous lectures by international faculty, work on interregional teams using synchronous and asynchronous methods, employ field research methods to learn about one another’s business cultures, and create a final project that captures their cross-cultural learnings. The program will equip young people in the U.S. and MENA region with the competencies they need to communicate, problem-solve, and collaborate in a global team environment—all essential 21st century skills in an interconnected world.

“This grant enables us to offer a unique course bringing together students in the U.S. and MENA and provide them significant opportunities for cross-cultural learning and collaboration,” said Amy Gillett, WDI’s Vice President of Education and Academic Director of Business & Culture. “This is not just a courseit’s a game changer. We believe it will significantly enhance participants’ ability to be effective global business leaders in the future.”

From 2017-19, WDI managed the MENA-Michigan Initiative for Global Action Through Entrepreneurship (M²GATE). Also funded by the Stevens Initiative, the M²GATE program brought together more than 400 students from five Michigan university campuses and their peers in Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Harnessing the power of virtual exchange, students collaborated to find entrepreneurial solutions to social challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, while learning new skills, building cross-cultural experiences and forging new relationships. More details on the program are available in a recently published impact report.

“I am very pleased with the grants that we are awarding for the next round of Stevens Initiative funded virtual exchange programs,” said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. “As bandwidths increase and platforms get more sophisticated, virtual exchanges open opportunities for international exposure and connection to hundreds of thousands – and potentially millions – of people. Virtual exchanges like those funded by the Stevens Initiative also facilitate cross-cultural experiences and build career readiness skills. I look forward to a great expansion of this innovative program over the next year and continuing to honor this living legacy to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.”

Through the work of these new programs, the Stevens Initiative will expand its reach to nearly 40,000 students in 15 MENA countries and the Palestinian Territories, and in 44 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. Programs will begin this April and will continue through the summer of 2021.

Other programs include:

  • Global Nomads Group (GNG): Campfire, GNG’s flagship program, focuses on virtual storytelling – an interdisciplinary and powerful vehicle for youth to build empathy, self-awareness, and global understanding.
  • International Research & Exchanges Board, Inc. (IREX): The Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge (GSSC), implemented by IREX, connects students in the United States, Jordan, and Iraq to virtually collaborate on a sustainable solution to a contemporary business challenge.
  • Soliya: Soliya’s Connect Global will bring together college-aged youth in the United States and in the Middle East and North Africa for online, face-to-face dialogue.
  • World Learning: The Experiment Digital, implemented by World Learning, is a two-month summer virtual exchange program that helps high school-aged youth become more civically engaged by empowering them to plan and execute a community service project.
  • World Learning: The NextGen Coders Network (NGCN) is a virtual exchange implemented by World Learning that will bring together university students and young professionals to create solutions to their countries’ greatest challenges using code.

“The Aspen Institute values the open exchange of ideas and the work of the Stevens Initiative allows for just that,” said Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President of Public & Policy Programs at the Aspen Institute. “Through virtual exchange, youth in the US and MENA region are able to engage with one another, learn together, and become global-minded leaders.”

Created in 2015 by the Stevens family as a living legacy to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the Stevens Initiative is a public-private partnership that is building global competencies and 21st century skills for young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa. Through virtual exchange, the Initiative connects youth through technology to collaborate and learn together, giving them access to a substantive international exchange.

The Initiative is awarding these six grants to schools and organizations to implement virtual exchange programs, lasting from several weeks to several months, for students from middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities.

Located at the University of Michigan, WDI is an independent, non-profit research and educational organization guided by its founding principle that thriving businesses drive economic development and improve social welfare in low- and middle-income countries.

Business & Culture is funded by the Stevens Initiative, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and is administered by the Aspen Institute. It is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

More Information

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us. Visit

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, D.C.; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

The Bezos Family Foundation supports rigorous, inspired learning environments for young people, from birth through high school, to put their education into action. Through investments in research, public awareness, systems building and programs, the foundation works to elevate the field of education and improve life outcomes for all children.

The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Washington, D.C. is committed to promoting and increasing cross-cultural understanding and educational exchanges. In line with the UAE Government’s values, the Embassy supports educational programming at schools and universities across the U.S. The Embassy works with U.S. institutions to provide unique opportunities for peer-to-peer exchanges and help broaden student’s horizons.

The Kingdom of Morocco has held a longstanding commitment to the promotion of peace, mutual understanding and respect across all fora.  In line with this commitment, the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco is a strong supporter of the Stevens Initiative and is proud to be included in its programs, which foster opportunities for cross-cultural exchanges between youth.

Media Contacts

Scott Anderson, Communications Manager–WDI.

Jon Purves, Senior Media Relations Associate, The Aspen Institute.

Rasheeda Clements, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Department of State.




From the Designing Global Health Supply Chains for the Future report.

From WDI’s “Designing Global Health Supply Chains for the Future” report.


Across the Global South, the coming decades will likely bring rapid urbanization, changing demographics, increased non-communicable disease burden, and a rising threat of pandemics. All of these factors will place unique strains and increased demand on emerging market health systems and their supply chains.

A new WDI report, “Designing Global Health Supply Chains for the Future,” proposes a series of initiatives that governments, global development agencies, and those in the private sector should undertake immediately in order to build supply chain capacity to anticipate these increasing demands in the coming decades. (Read the full report here.)

The report, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation), was written by WDI Research Fellow Maeve Magner and former WDI Senior Fellow Prashant Yadav.

“Important shifts taking place in the economic environment, as well as new supply chain technology and business models, represent a watershed moment in supply chains for health products,” said Yadav, who recently joined the Gates Foundation as a Strategy Leader-Supply Chains. “Unless we pay close attention to these, we risk losing some significant opportunities for supply chain improvement.”

To research and write the report, Magner and Yadav reviewed the future trends reports of various think tanks, institutions, and logistics companies. They also gathered the opinions of experts from numerous industries, including pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods, high-tech electronics, and logistics. The two then analyzed the implications of these trends and opinions for global health supply chain actors.

From this research, the authors identified six forces that have the greatest likelihood of impacting global health supply chains in 2030 and beyond. They are: economic growth; shifting disease burden; urbanization; increased patient-centric care; proliferation of data; and, the rapid pace of innovation.

Given these upcoming challenges, the authors posed questions that governments, development partners, and private actors should be asking today, which will enable them to make relevant and timely investments to build and strengthen supply chains of the future.

“We identify questions that organizations in this space should be asking now,” Yadav said. “While we don’t always know what the right answers are, just the process of asking these questions and reflecting on them will help organizations become better in their supply chain design and operation.”

By anticipating and preparing for likely future scenarios, Yadav and Magner reason, those leaders charged with managing their health system’s supply chain can more efficiently recognize and adapt to changing conditions.

Since 1999, WDI has been working to improve healthcare in low- and middle-income countries. A critical focus of this work has been shaping the global discussion on the future of the supply chains that deliver medicines and health commodities to patients, thereby improving their access to quality healthcare.

WDI has worked with the Gates Foundation through a 2015 grant to develop strategies for, and build a common vision towards, more effective and efficient health supply chains.

This report, “Designing Global Health Supply Chains for the Future,” advances WDI’s mission of developing knowledge and capability to improve the effectiveness of firms and increase social welfare in low- and middle-income countries.


As the academic year comes to a close, the 13 MAP teams organized and funded by WDI have finished their projects and successfully delivered final reports to their sponsoring organizations.

Multidisciplinary Action Projects, or MAP for short, is an annual, action-based learning course offered at the Ross School of Business in which MBA students work on projects for organizations all over the world under the guidance of faculty advisors. Each project requires analytical rigor, critical thinking, and teamwork among students. Sponsoring organizations receive first-rate deliverables and data-driven recommendations from the teams of students. (Learn more about this year’s MAP projects organized by WDI here; find more information on WDI’s MAP projects over the years here.)

After learning about their projects and conducting secondary research for several weeks, the students then spend two to four weeks working with their organizations in the field.

Two of those projects – in Hanoi, Vietnam and Madurai, India – focused on laying the groundwork for centers designed to support local entrepreneurs and are part of a joint effort between WDI and the Zell Lurie Institute (ZLI). To assist the students on their projects, WDI Education Initiative Vice President Amy Gillett and Program Coordinator Nathan Rauh-Bieri provided advice and guidance based on WDI’s prior work in entrepreneurship development (see WDI’s newly-launched Entrepreneurship Development Center).

Here is a recap of the two projects.


Vietnam Partners LLC

The Vietnam Partners MAP project was co-funded by ZLI, and hosted by Vietnam Partners, LLC. The project’s goal was to create a launch plan for an entrepreneurship service center in partnership with Hanoi Business School (HSB). The student team conducted more than 45 interviews with entrepreneurs, HSB administrators, and other stakeholders. They discovered that Vietnam’s entrepreneurs need help growing their business – not just starting them – and would welcome an entrepreneurship development center.  

“The environment in Vietnam is ripe for this kind of organization,” said Bradley LaLonde, the team’s supervisor at Vietnam Partners.

At the end of their project, the students presented a business plan for a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at HSB. The team identified a local hunger for practical rather than theoretical training, and training customized to the local ecosystem. More specifically, the MAP team identified a lack of local business cases. After a conversation with WDI, the MAP team suggested that a sustained effort around creating local cases, similar to WDI’s Philippines Case Collection, could be high-potential way to train Hanoi’s practice-hungry entrepreneurs.

Team member Juan Recalde said the project taught him that entrepreneurs have different needs.

“That was a very important learning because we could segment different types of entrepreneurs and based on the segmentation, determine which segment to target,” he said.

Recalde said he will take what he learned – specifically market research and creating a launch strategy for an entrepreneurship development center – and try to replicate it in his hometown.

“Formosa is one of the poorest provinces of Argentina and the government plays a big role in the economy, while the private sector is small,” he said. “I believe that entrepreneurship is the answer to the growth issues that my province faces.”

Stewart Thornhill, executive director of ZLI and the team’s academic advisor, praised the team for how well they represented U-M, WDI and ZLI and for their mature analysis of the project.  

“They didn’t treat entrepreneurs as a generic class, but were able to identify specific personas,” he said. “Their in-depth qualitative research will serve this center’s clients well in the future.”

WDI President Paul Clyde, who also advised the team, said they gave Vietnam Partners good insights into the current situation with the country’s entrepreneurs.

“There is no substitute for having information from people who have spent time on the ground to get a good feel for what is going on,” Clyde said. “This is exactly the type of situation in which MAP projects are effective tools for us and for sponsors.”


Aparajitha Foundation

The MAP team, based in Madurai, India, was tasked with setting up a business model for Aparajitha Foundation to provide services to the city’s Madurai’s micro, small, and medium enterprises – or MSMEs. This work builds on last year’s MAP project with Aparajitha.

The student team’s final report outlined the gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Madurai, the market opportunity, business model, financial model, implementation plan, and key learnings. The team recommended that GROW, a conceptual organization to meet the needs of growth-stage entrepreneurs, be launched. The students also provided an outline of what was needed to have GROW operating within two years and expand to a second locale within five years.

Clyde, the team’s academic advisor, lauded the students’ efforts.

“They were able to get up to speed quickly on the current situation and combined that with some careful thinking about different models for providing services to entrepreneurs,” he said. Aparajitha “has already made significant progress in (its) engagement with the entrepreneurs in Tamil Nadu.”

The project left a definite impression on team member Nancy McDermott, who, though having a background in the community development aspects of business, experienced “what a big impact supporting entrepreneurs locally has on the local economy.”

Particularly, the project’s scope exposed her to how entrepreneurship can “spark job creation at a grassroots level,” she said, adding that she saw “what a big impact this is having on Madurai’s economy, and what kind of impact it can have on other economies as well.”

This summer, a WDI intern will pick up where the student MAP team left off and develop diagnostic tools that will identify the challenges a given entrepreneur faces and thus how GROW can work with the entrepreneur most effectively.  



As their 2017 MAP project, U-M students Florian Eizaguirre, Amelia Harris, Matilda Narulita and Chris Atkins are advising Boond, a renewable energy firm in India.


Tom Reidy’s previous work experience and core MBA classes this year at U-M’s Ross School of Business have focused on operating a business in the developed world. That’s one reason Reidy is excited to head to South Africa to work for the startup organization, Mbuyu, as part of the school’s annual Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP).

“I’m interested in learning how business strategy differs in low-income, or base of the pyramid, markets because the frameworks we learned in our core classes over the last year have focused on developed markets,” said Reidy, a first-year MBA student.  “Also, this will be my first time working with a start-up and dealing with impact investing, so I’m hoping to achieve a good understanding of how those things function.”

Mbuyu is working with South African National Parks to protect some of the world’s most critical honey bee ecosystems while developing a business to produce and sell organic honey. The MAP in South Africa is one of 11 student projects organized and sponsored by WDI. The Institute also is providing funding for two additional MAP projects.

MAP is an action-based learning course offered at Ross in which MBA students receive guidance from faculty advisors. Each project requires analytical rigor, critical thinking, and teamwork. Participating organizations receive top-notch deliverables and data-driven recommendations from the teams of students. (Find out more about WDI’s MAP projects over the years here.)

After learning about their projects and conducting secondary research for several weeks, the students then spend two to four weeks working with their organizations in the field.

Carissa De Young, a second-year MBA who is a dual degree student at Ross and the School of Natural Resources, will travel to India with her MAP team to work for GE Power.

“I’m most looking forward to learning more about the challenges in rural areas and how large companies can use their expertise to provide solutions,” she said.

Below is a summary of each WDI-sponsored MAP project.


African Institute of Management (IAM) – Senegal

Advised By: Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business

Team Members: Paul Miyamoto, Kaitlyn Fischer, Bradley Rollins

Founded in 1996, the Institut Africain de Management Group (IAM) is one of the leading private business schools in Central and West Africa. IAM is developing a master’s degree program in supply chain. This program will address the needs in Senegal and West Africa generally, by increasing the supply chain management talent available in the region.

The goal of this project is to develop a market entry strategy for a supply chain program at IAM.  The team will learn about the program and then conduct competitive analysis and interview businesses that either are or employ potential customers in Senegal.


Aparajitha Foundation – India

Advised By: Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business; Bob Dittmar, Ross School of Business

Team Members: Diocelyn Batista Rijo, Rachel De Leon, Adam Fitzmaurice, Nancy McDermott

The Aparajitha Foundation is an arm of the Aparajitha Group. It is committed to the cause of creating transformational change in adolescents by using audiovisual technology to deliver life skills training to economically disadvantaged children in India’s Tamil Nadu state.

The MAP team will conduct a market analysis that will enable the creation of a financial model for an overarching ecosystem to support the micro small medium entrepreneurs (MSME) sector in Madurai, India.


Aravind Eye Care System – India

Advised By: Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business; Thomas Buchmueller, Ross School of Business

Team Members: Kaitie Conrad, Nikita Jambulingam, Siddhi Kaul, Ravi Patel

Aravind Eye Care System is a network of hospitals, clinics, community outreach efforts, factories, and research and training institutes in south India that has treated more than 32 million patients and has performed 4 million surgeries since its 1976 founding.

The student team will work with Aravind’s senior leadership to develop a roadmap for the eyecare system’s future growth.


Banyan Global – Ghana

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and Ross School of Business; Jim Walsh, Ross School of Business

Team Members: Vagisha Goel, Eric Perrin, Adi Singhal, Courtney Tatum

Banyan Global is a development consulting firm that works in five continents. It is implementing a USAID-funded project to increase access, improve efficiencies and expand quality maternal-child healthcare in rural areas. Banyan is working with private maternity home owners who may be nearing retirement on “transformation” options – selling the facility, leasing out the facility, bringing on a partner, bringing on a manager, or bringing on a specialist who will enable the facility to diversify its service offerings.

The MAP team will focus on an in-depth investigation into the the financial constraints and opportunities for private maternity homes in Ghana, with a specific focus on the projected return on specific potential investments, and the feasibility of various credit options to finance those investments.


Boond Engineering & Development – India

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and Ross School of Business; Jane Dutton, Ross School of Business

Team Members: Chris Atkins, Florian Eizaguirre, Amelia Harris, Matilda Narulita

Boond Engineering & Development provides clean-energy lighting solutions to 100,000 low-income individuals and small-scale enterprises in rural, northern states of India by developing solar-enabled micro grids and other solar energy products.

The students will build a strategy around data collection and analysis and finding ways to monetize it. Boond collects a lot of consumer demographic data along with energy usage data from its portfolio of micro-grids in rural communities. It wants to analyze the data and explore ways of sharing its findings to those interested for a price.


CARE International – Egypt

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and Ross School of Business; Jane Dutton, Ross School of Business

Team Members: Andrew Hauser, Colleen Hill, Zack Molnar, Elizabeth Padilla

Working with the Danone Ecosystem Fund, CARE International is working to improve the socio-economic conditions of dairy farmers in Egypt using a collaborative model that engages cooperatives and community development associations in the country.

The MAP students will partner with Danone and CARE International to facilitate access to quality information for dairy farmers to improve their skills and productivity, and develop the institutional capacity, including good governance practices of farmers’ organizations.


GE Power – India

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and Ross School of Business; Sugato Bhattacharyya, Ross School of Business

Team Members: John Barbour, Carissa De Young, Claire Fletcher, Wiles Kase, Christina Lee, Jon McCartney

GE Power provides power generation, energy delivery, and water process technologies to solve issues in local markets.

The student team will develop a go-to-market recommendation for a new set of energy products and services that are focused on providing electricity in emerging markets.


Imperial Health Sciences – South Africa

Advised By: Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business; Ravi Anupindi, Ross School of Business

Team Members: Jaymon Ballew, Jeremy Egan, Francesco Esposito, Emily Lombardi, Mary Rockas

IHS provides supply chain solutions to the public and private pharmaceutical markets in Africa. It has partnered with several development and global health leaders from the public and private sectors to launch Lulama, an innovative financing partnership that will strengthen independent, community pharmacies in underserved areas, and enable access to quality, life-saving medicines to those who need them most.

The MAP team will assess the Lulama community pharmacy pilot program from the perspective of all the stakeholders for its potential to be a sustainable, scalable and replicable solution, and make recommendations.


ITC Limited – India

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and Ross School of Business; Sugato Bhattacharyya, Ross School of Business

Team Members: Gustavo Calzavara, Rakshit Gupta, Paula Luu, Linh Nguyen

ITC is a major diversified Indian conglomerate that creates multiple drivers of growth by developing a portfolio of businesses in the consumer goods, hospitality, paper, packaging, agribusiness, and information technology sectors.

The MAP team will develop a robust and scaleable business model in the fruits and vegetables space that could lead to a sustainable business that significantly enhances value for farmers in India.


Mbuyu Group – South Africa

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and Ross School of Business; Jim Walsh, Ross School of Business

Team Members: Megan Knoch-Dohlin, Ari Lowell, Tom Reidy, Christine Rickard, Sara Schmidt, Neil Tidwell

Mbuyu Group is working with South African National Parks to protect some of the world’s most critical honey bee ecosystems and strengthen the bee population. The group also hopes to become one of the largest global producers of organic honey.

The student project will develop a comprehensive fundraising communications strategy and materials recommendations to raise $5 million from international funding institutions and individuals. The money raised will support the purchase of 50,000 beehives on behalf of poor communities surrounding the nation parks.


Vayu – Malawi

Advised By: Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business; Thomas Buchmueller, Ross School of Business

Team Members: Jason Doran, Cazzie Palacios Brown, Maggie Vasquez, Charles Walton

Vayu is a Michigan start-up developing drones to aid medical care such as flying shipments of drugs, blood and other samples to remote villages.

The students will develop a market entry strategy plan for Vayu for Malawi.


Global Fairness Initiative – Nepal

Advised By: Mike Gordon, Ross School of Business; Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business

Team Members: Molly Hope, Kevin Jones, Julie Smith, Allen Xu

The Global Fairness Initiative promotes a more equitable, sustainable approach to economic development for the world’s working poor by advancing fair wages, equal access to markets, and balanced public policy to generate opportunity and end the cycle of poverty.

The student team will determine a sustainable financial model for Better Brick Nepal, a market-based program that is transforming Nepal’s brick industry by eliminating forced, bonded, and child labor.


Vietnam Partners, LLC – Vietnam

Advised By: Stewart Thornhill, Ross School of Business; Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business

Team Members: Niall Bachynski, Maddy Bourgeois, Nick Daen, Sara Faurer, Juan Recalde, Aaron Wolff

Vietnam Partners works with companies and investors to build successful businesses that exploit opportunities arising from Vietnam’s accelerating integration into the global economy.

Vietnam Partners in collaboration with the Hanoi School of Business has been requested to set up and lead the development of a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) and establish a start up venture capital fund.


A WDI training session as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative.

A WDI training session as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative.


WDI’s Education Initiative is launching the Entrepreneurship Development Center for Emerging Markets (EDC), harnessing 15 years of experience helping entrepreneurs in emerging markets grow their ventures through education, training and consulting.

The new center will strengthen WDI’s long-established commitment to delivering top-notch entrepreneurship education and also highlight expanded offerings and services available to potential partners. The EDC also features a robust resource center of articles, blog posts, case studies, and learning tools.

Also making its debut along with the EDC is the Education Initiative’s proprietary 6M Entrepreneurship Development Model which outlines the six “M’s” — mindset, markets, money, mechanisms, management, mentorship — that WDI uses to design and deliver entrepreneurship education. WDI combines the latest, best practices with innovative pedagogy and learning tools, and then works with regional experts in emerging markets to localize content. The result is a program that is globally applicable and culturally relevant to the partner.  

Amy Gillett, vice president of the Education Initiative, said the EDC’s launch is very timely.

Emerging market countries around the globe are looking for ways to grow and diversify their economies,” she said. “Many of these countries also suffer from high unemployment. We believe entrepreneurship is an effective solution. However, to succeed, entrepreneurs need the proper training, support, and resources and the countries need to create effective ecosystems. The EDC is set up to support these needs.”

For the past 15 years, WDI’s Education Initiative has delivered entrepreneurship training programs in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America to owners and managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

For example, WDI trained more than 100 entrepreneurs from throughout Morocco under a grant from the U.S. State Department. As part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, WDI successfully trained 330 women entrepreneurs in Rwanda.

And WDI demonstrated its thought leadership on entrepreneurship education when it convened academics and practitioners at the University of Michigan for the 2011 “Global Summit on Educating Entrepreneurs,” a global conference on how to plan, deliver, and assess world-class entrepreneurship training programs in emerging markets.

Learn more about the Education Initiative in the video below.



Gillett said the Education Initiative’s long history of aiding entrepreneurs makes WDI uniquely qualified to offer successful and rewarding entrepreneurship programs.

“After successfully training hundreds of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship instructors over the past two decades, we are well-positioned to serve this role,” Gillett said. “We are excited to launch the Entrepreneurship Development Center and expand our entrepreneurship development efforts.”


NextBillion editor Scott Anderson interviews leaders in EdTech about where the industry is headed, its best practices, and the relationship between technology and pedagogy.

Kerry Shields worked in the healthcare industry before coming to U-M’s Ross School of Business for her MBA and has plans to return to it after graduation. So she was eager to find a MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Project) in a different industry, and was ecstatic when she learned she was part of the WDI-sponsored MBA student team working with the Relationship Coffee Institute and Sustainable Harvest in Rwanda.

Members of the ITC Ltd. MAP team talks about their project prior to traveling to India.

The Relationship Coffee Institute (RCI) is a non­profit, public benefit corporation – or, B Corp – working to increase social and economic opportunity for smallholder commodity farmers and their families. Its partner, Sustainable Harvest, is one of the largest importers of fair trade specialty coffee in the U.S.

“What this company is trying to do is important and innovative and I can learn from that,” she said. “Hopefully we will have had an impact at the end of the project and get a better understanding how a private company can help alleviate poverty.”

The MAP in Rwanda is one of eight student projects organized and sponsored by WDI. MAP is an action-based learning course offered at Ross for MBA students who receive guidance from their faculty advisors. Each project requires analytical rigor, critical thinking, and teamwork. Sponsors receive top-notch deliverables and data-driven recommendations from the team of students.

After learning about their projects and conducting research in the classroom for several weeks, the students then spend three to four weeks working alongside their project sponsors in the field.

Sylvia Jimenez will work on a WDI-sponsored MAP team for CARE, a non-profit organization seeking to use business approaches to address social issues.

“I’m looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone and doing something different than I have done before,” she said. “I think I’ll learn a lot about me as a team player, and learn about my teammates and what their strengths are.”

Ted London, vice president of WDI’s Scaling Impact Initiative, is one of the faculty advisors on the Sustainable Harvest and CARE MAPs as well as two others. Before the teams traveled to their destinations for on-the-ground work, he brought them together for a special WDI-focused session to get to know each other better before they left and to touch on some of the key issues the teams will face in the field.

He discussed what it takes to conduct good interviews, particularly in a base of the pyramid (BoP) market context, emphasizing that the goal of these interviews is to develop data-driven recommendations. Among other things, he also told the students to approach people they meet and interview with respect and humility to maximize the depth and quality of the data collected during the interview.

“You are not only there as expert problem-solvers, but also as experts in learning and listening,” he said. “Only by collaborating and co-creating can we build solutions that really work.”

London said his MAP projects allow students to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it in a BoP context.

“For students interested in working in this space as a career, it is an amazing opportunity,” he said. “These MAPs open students’ eyes to this part of the world and to this scale of enterprise and impact. They’re part of the minority seeing how the majority of the world conducts business.”

WDI and its partners get value from the experience as well, London said. Seven of the eight MAP projects are with partners that have long-term relationships with WDI.

“By leveraging MAP and the great skills of the Ross students, we’re providing resources and expertise to our partners to help them solve the problems they’re facing,” London said. “And it’s a way for us to collaborate with partners in the field, apply our knowledge, and learn what are the next-generation tools we need to think about in the future.”

Here is a summary of each MAP project:

Aravind Eye Care System – India

Advised By: Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business; Peter Lenk, Ross School of Business

MAP Team: Jackie Barnum, Katie Redman, Alex Kravitz, Matt Tafoya

Aravind Eye Care System (AECS) has five tertiary care centers, six secondary care centers, six community clinics, and 54 primary eye care centers across the Tamil Nadu state in India. Now AECS is expanding, opening tertiary hospitals in Chennai and Tirupathi in the next couple of years, and there are also plans to expand the services/facilities in the existing hospital units.

The student team will customize and test at two to three AECS facilities an existing process model that will measure performance of each unit and is understandable to everyone in the organization.


Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) – India

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and Ross School of Business; Jane Dutton, Ross School of Business

MAP Team: Karina Cabanillas, David Chang, Takashi Takizawa, Sylvia Jimenez

CARE has been working in India for over 65 years, focusing on ending poverty and social injustice. Its overall goal is the empowerment of women and girls from poor and marginalized communities leading to improvement in their lives and livelihoods.

Most smallholder farmers, a vast majority of whom are women, have limited access to quality and affordable agriculture input, services, finance and technologies. The student team will develop a profitable and socially inclusive business plan that CARE can execute in 2016 that facilitates access for smallholder farmers to inputs and related services. This should be a commercially viable and financially sustainable approach that avoids donor dependency through the development of an agricultural input supply social enterprise in India.


Sustainable Harvest & Relationship Coffee Institute – United States

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and Ross School of Business; Ravi Anupindi, WDI and Ross School of Business

MAP Team: Stacey Nathan, Whitney Augustine, Erdem Eray, Grant Cowherd

Sustainable Harvest of Portland, Ore. is an importer of high quality, specialty grade coffees from smallholder farmers from 15 countries around the world. In 2012, Sustainable Harvest formed a nonprofit organization, the Relationship Coffee Institute (RCI), to help propagate its business model and advance farmer training. In fall 2015, in conjunction with RCI and 4,000 women farmers in Rwanda, Sustainable Harvest launched Question Coffee, which represents its fundamental goal to empower coffee farmers and foster sustainable supply chains. It is Sustainable Harvest’s first B Corp certified product throughout the entire value chain, meaning it’s a for-profit entity that includes positive impacts on society, workers, and the environment. Net proceeds from Question Coffee go to farmer training, which contributes to better quality, improved yields and increased income and wellbeing for coffee farmers at the base of the pyramid.

The student team will conduct research to identify Question Coffee’s value proposition to consumers, resulting in several specific, actionable recommendations on branding and marketing strategies. The team also will devise several recommendations and strategies for greater market penetration.


Relationship Coffee Institute (in partnership with Sustainable Harvest) – Rwanda

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and the Ross School of Business; Jane Dutton, Ross School of Business

MAP Team: Courtney Landy, Aaron Whallon, Juan Marino, Kerry Shields

For this project, the student team will test and evaluate the value of B Corp certification to see if it could improve the lives of smallholder farmers in Rwanda, and how it could be scaled or applied to other commodities.


Zemen Bank – Ethiopia

Advised By: Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business; Bob Dittmar, Ross School of Business

MAP Team: Dana Yerace, Max Jacobson, Florence Noel, Nicholas Mencher

Zemen is a commercial bank located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Its vision is to bring new dynamism to the financial sector and the banking business in Ethiopia. It is interested in serving small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Using a banking scheme in which Ethiopians living in the U.S. could put a hold on some monetary amount in their bank account, Zemen would then access the account for a low interest loan for Ethiopian citizens starting or expanding a small business. The hold on the U.S. bank would be reduced as the loan is paid back.

The student team will develop the business case for diaspora SME loans and assess the prospects for scaling the program to a level that would interest Zemen Bank. If the scheme were deemed viable, then the team would formulate a plan for executing the program.


Imperial Health Sciences (IHS) – South Africa

Advised By: Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business; Ravi Anupindi, WDI and Ross School of Business

MAP Team: Amit Patel, Jennifer Paxton, Anuja Mehta, Aric Adams

IHS provides supply chain solutions to the public and private pharmaceutical markets in Africa. IHS and the Imperial Logistics group have adopted the Unjani project as its Corporate Social Responsibility project. Unjani aims to establish a network of nurse-owned franchise clinics in historically underserved communities across South Africa. It has 19 operating clinics with plans to add 25 more by May. The group will take over an independent, failing clinic.

The student team will assess the change in the failing clinic’s success level after instituting the processes, controls, training, and marketing of the Unjani franchise network. Examining the operational and environmental factors of the clinic, along with some financial analysis, will allow IHS to better understand why this clinic failed. That will help IHS further develop the Unjani concept and ensure successful clinics in the future.


ITC Ltd. – India

Advised By: Ted London, WDI and Ross School of Business; Venkatram Ramaswany, Ross School of Business

MAP Team: Nishant Agrawal, Kee Cho, Arun Prakash, Dave Teebagy

ITC is a major diversified Indian conglomerate. ITC’s e-Choupal initiative is enabling Indian agriculture to enhance its competitiveness by empowering Indian farmers through the power of the Internet. The initiative facilitates the two-way flow of goods and services in and out of villages, and describes itself as the largest Internet-based intervention in rural India by a corporate entity.

The student team will help ITC design the next version of e-Choupal. The team will deliver a report exploring how the first three versions of e-Choupal have created value and where further opportunities for value creation may exist. The team also will look into how other models of rural farmer engagement are being deployed in other developing countries, identify the various stakeholders impacted, and highlight how the proposed model creates value for them.


Aparajitha Foundation – India

Advised By: Paul Clyde, WDI and Ross School of Business; Jim Walsh, Ross School of Business

MAP Team: Jamyle Michael, Holly Price, Aaron Steiner, Meghan Sheehan

The Aparajitha Foundation is an arm of the Aparajitha Group. It is committed to the cause of creating transformational change in adolescents by using audiovisual technology to deliver life skills training to economically disadvantaged children in India’s Tamil Nadu state.

The MAP team will develop a complete business plan for entrepreneurship education, training and development. The model should be scalable so that it can be used across the country in the future.

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