This semester, as part of the Entrepreneurship Capstone – Advanced Studies in Social Entrepreneurship course, 35 students will travel to Jamaica to study the role that agricultural cooperatives and social enterprises can play in lifting smallholder farmers out of extreme poverty. We plan to visit communities in both rural and urban settings as we work on poverty alleviation ideas and enterprises. Specifically, we will visit poor rural communities that are working in or toward cooperative farming organizations, both successful and challenged ones, as well as impoverished urban neighborhoods struggling to create successful micro-enterprises and the jobs that follow.
Through our site visits, we will examine first-hand how new and innovative methods of financing, technical assistance, and consulting can assist in the growth and sustainability of these organizations. After visiting a variety of social enterprises, fair trade cooperatives, and environmental organizations in Jamaica, we will return to Northeastern to develop a strategy to socially invest in high-performing organizations in Jamaica.
Your donation will help us gain valuable hands-on experience in the impact-investing and social enterprise sector while directly supporting enterprise-based solutions that combat extreme poverty in Jamaica. Funding raised on Catalyst will help subsidize our travel and study expenses, allowing the maximum number of students to participate in this unique, learning experience.
Our initial goal is to raise $3,000 via Catalyst. This money will enable a group of bright young change-makers to travel to the developing world to partner directly with social enterprises that work to alleviate extreme poverty in Jamaica. After visiting and working with these social enterprises in-country, students will determine where to invest additional funding through structured grants to cooperatives.
The Social Enterprise Institute (SEI) is grounded in the belief that business can be a powerful tool in helping to alleviate poverty in the developing world by utilizing enterprise-based solutions. The SEI is a resource center housed in the D'Amore-McKim School of Business that empowers students to be socially motivated, global business leaders.