Sunday, January 06, 2008

MBAs without Borders

MBAs without Borders

Business schools are traditionally competitive and MBA students even more so, as they compete with each other in academics and to get a foothold into the world of business. The site Online MBA Programs does a nice job of showing some of the common career paths for MBA's. Often lost in all this competition is a focus on social good. That's why a new organization that connects MBA grads with international regions that lack business infrastructure or knowledge is causing quite a stir.

What an enlightening weekend I had at the MGA Games. I learned about an exciting organization that is changing the world - MBAs without Borders.

If you are familiar with Doctors without Borders then you might guess what they do. The two organizations are not related but share common themes; helping people in developing countries.

MBAs without Borders helps people in developing countries develop business. MWB works with NPOs and medium sized businesses to move forward, to get to the next level – to become sustainable and make a significant difference.

The Premise (my interpretation)
The basic needs can be met with the ability to earn income.

If people can work and generate income they can feed, cloth and shelter themselves and their family. They can contribute to education, health care and social justice of their community. In additional they can feel empowered about their future.

OriginMBAs without Borders was launched in 2004 by two Canadians - Tal Dehtiar and Michael Brown. In their first year they ran one project – last year they ran 23. Next year they plan to run over 50.

What they do
MWB places MBA grads in developing countries to help with the development of business projects. The projects they select from include activities in agriculture, health care, environment and handicrafts. They choose from these activities because these are the fundamental economics of developing countries.

Tal Degtiar (co-founder of MWB)
I had the pleasure of both talking with and listening to this 27-year espouse his vision and accomplishments. In a strange twist of fate, he told me that he was a student of mine years ago in a class on presentation skills that I delivered to MBA students at MG DeGroote School of Business.

I’ve met lots of people who claim that they want to chance the world. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to meet the real thing - a person who is making a real difference in the world. Imagine if you met a young Mother/Sister Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King or Terry Fox.

George Torok

Host of Business in Motion

Read more about MBAs without Borders

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