Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GIVE's New Project in the Philippines

In our endeavors to help micro-entrepreneurs acquire business skills and their basic business needs, GIVE is proud to announce a new partnership. Together with the Inner City Development Cooperative (ICDC), an NGO on the ground in Manila, we will be putting together an urban entrepreneurship center in Manila, Philippines.

This center will offer basic entrepreneurship training, via the Barefoot MBA program, as well as additional business training and support services to help micro-entrepreneurs build a sturdy business from the ground up, providing poor communities everything from how to find their target market, community support services, developing computer and Internet skills for global business, and other services that will be based on community needs, challenges and opportunities.

Our hope is that the entrepreneurship center will help small entrepreneurs create a successful local business that will offer their family the support and stability they need to thrive. In addition, the center will offer entrepreneurs a sort of central administration office, where they can use computers, make photocopies and printouts, and have access to materials that they would not be able to purchase themselves.

With these resources, our entrepreneurs will be able to take their businesses far beyond the level they could reach without these resources.

We are currently looking for local sponsorship for the center. It is our goal to partner with one or more larger local or locally based international businesses in the area, both to fund the center but also to connect the micro-entrepreneurs we educate to the larger economic community.

We're especially excited about our partner for this center. ICDC has a solid background in seeing the needs of local families and entrepreneurs and finding creative, culturally specific ways of meeting them. As our first partner in this endeavor, they promise to bring savvy, open minds with the creativity and fortitude necessary for the center's success.

Our hope is that this is the first of many of these centers to be set up in the Philippines and around the globe. GIVE's goal is to aid as many micro-entrepreneurs as possible, through education, practical resources, and networking opportunities.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Barefoot MBA Training of Trainers Project in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines

GIVE recently organized and completed a workshop in Bacolod City, Philippines, on August 24-28, 2009 to provide teacher curriculum training for the Barefoot MBA, a business skills training program.

The workshop was hosted by Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation and attended by 27 representatives from several Asian organizations in the Philippines and Cambodia. Scott Raymond and Katherine Boas, two Stanford Graduate School of Business students who developed the program, traveled to the Philippines to lead the workshop.

Barefoot MBA was adapted from a long running program developed by the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), a prominent Thai nongovernmental organization (NGO). According to the Stanford Graduate School of Business website:
  • Katherine Boa and Scott Raymond got the idea during a service-learning trip to Thailand early in 2007, organized through the School’s Public Management Program. Their host was Mechai Vivavaidya, the founder and chairman of Population and Community Development Association, which received a $1 million Gates Award for Global Health in 2007 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • The Thai group’s founder told the Stanford students that rural business owners who received microloans could benefit from a basic curriculum designed to help them learn business fundamentals. “Scott and I sort of looked at each other and we said, ‘We could do that.’ We’ve learned this stuff,” Boas said.
  • Designed for teachers, the Barefoot MBA series of lessons explain complex topics to motivated, but often uneducated, people who may be unfamiliar with formal classroom environments and teaching tools.
The workshop serves as a launching point for GIVE’s work in Asia in the coming year. GIVE is supporting the rollout of the Barefoot MBA with our partners to help poor entrepreneurs master basic business concepts, develop an entrepreneurial mindset and make better business decisions. Stay tuned!