Yale SOM Students to Aid Local Businesses in Brazil Over Spring Break
New Haven, Conn., March 6, 2007 — Yale School of Management MBA students will put their business skills to work for a good cause over spring break. A group of 24 students will spend two weeks in Brazil performing pro bono consulting work for socially focused organizations. The trip will take place March 10-24.
The students are members of the school’s Global Social Enterprise (GSE) club. Founded by students in 2004, the group provides pro bono consulting services to organizations in developing countries with the goal of making a positive social impact.
Working in teams, the students will assist five client organizations: Top Air, Spoleto, Pró Criança Cardíaca, Instituto Pe no Chao, and Afro Reggae. The projects include assessing recycling practices and market expansion opportunities for Top Air, a manufacturer of equipment used to recycle automotive air conditioning and commercial refrigerants; market research for the international development of Spoleto, a restaurant franchise; creating a business plan and fundraising strategy to build a new children’s cardiac hospital for private clinic Pró Criança Cardíaca; developing business and marketing plans to launch the Friends of the Forest program of environmental organization Instituto Pe no Cha; and developing a microcredit proposal that Afro Reggae, an organization that promotes social justice and social inclusion through art and culture, can use to benefit social entrepreneurs in Brazil’s favelas.
“The consulting trip is an opportunity for us to help organizations in Brazil’s burgeoning social enterprise sector while gaining valuable hands-on business experience,” said Julienne Oyler ’08, a co-leader of GSE.
In preparation for the trip, the students are enrolled in two half-semester courses with faculty advisors Professors Garry Brewer and Keith Chen. The “Managing Social Enterprises in Developing Countries - Brazil” course features lectures by industry experts and faculty from throughout Yale that cover Brazilian history and culture, doing business in Brazil, and management tools that can be used to help social enterprises in developing markets. The students also will undertake an Independent Study focused on preparing their final client recommendations and presentations.
The students began working with the client organizations and conducting preliminary research for the projects in January. Their work will continue after the on-site visits in Brazil and culminate in a presentation of deliverables to the clients in April.
Past GSE pro bono consulting projects have taken place in Madagascar and South Africa.