Follow Richard Ivey School of Business HBA Program faculty and students as they spend Reading Week on two global projects, the Microfinance Brigade in Honduras and Israel Business Trip.
Led by Ivey professor Niels Billou, 30 volunteers with the Microfinance Brigade are spending seven days in a rural community of Honduras.
Prior to the trip, staff from Global Brigades (GB), the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization, trained community leaders who will act as executive board members of a community bank called the Caja Rural. Throughout the brigade, volunteers will divide into groups where they visit several families in their homes.
During the community visits, volunteers develop an understanding of the families’ ways of life, aspirations and financial literacy. Following the visits, the students hold a community meeting about the Caja Rural focused on topics such as budgeting, savings incentives programs and loans. At the end of week, students determine how they will allocate their CIF (community investment fund), whether it may be to an individual family or a lump sum donated to the Caja.
One of the major advantages of the GB microfinance model is that the Cajas Rurales are entirely owned and operated by the communities. Therefore, all of the community members have the opportunity to benefit collectively, and the students work directly with individuals empowering them to become more financially stable and establish economic growth within their communities.
Follow the progress of the Ivey brigade at its blog, Ivey Adventure in Honduras.
Every spring, a group of the top Ivey senior students embark on a 10-day trip to Israel to learn about the country and its economy. Led by Ivey professor Cara Maurer, 25 students are enriching their perspective on Israel through business, cultural and historical lenses to better understand the drivers of its success.
By trip’s end, these future business leaders take their lessons learned into the real world with an appreciation for this unique business community.
Follow the progress of the Ivey team at its blog, Israel Business Trip.