Michelle Mitchell (MBA ‘95) and her husband, Jonathan Mitchell, opened their Beverly Hills home to MIIS and Middlebury alumni and friends interested in learning more about the Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) program. Forty individuals attended the September 12, 2012 event, which featured MIIS students, faculty, and leadership.
President Sunder Ramaswamy and Yuwei Shi, Dean of GSIPM, gave an overview of the Institute and described the origins of and critical need for FMS. They were followed by co-founder of FMS and head of partner organization at Sanghata Global, Sabiha Rumani Malik, who described what inspired her to be involved with emerging economies in low income areas. Two former Scouts, Ravi Kurani (MBA ’11) and Megan Christenson (MBA ’12), described their experiences working in India and Ecuador, respectively, followed by International Leadership Council member Amit Sharma (MAIEP/MBA ’03), who described the Frontier Fund, a student-run impact investment fund.
Guests had the opportunity to mingle over scrumptious hors d’oeuvres in a beautiful setting as they learned more about the program and the impact the Scouts are having the world over. This year, the program has placed over 20 people in 13 countries, working with social enterprises, impact investment funds and social accelerator programs for a period of two to six months.
As a Frontier Market Scout in Mumbai, India Ravi worked with Dasra Social Impact and Under the Mango Tree, a hybrid social enterprise, which uses bee-boxes and revenues from organic honey to aide poor farmers in developing rural communities.
Megan worked with Village Capital and the Yachana Institute in Ecuador developing a Village Capital program for the Andean region. She had the opportunity to work closely with one enterprise in particular, Chacay, which plans to connect socially responsible tourists with community development projects around the various eco-regions of Ecuador.
The program, jointly developed and managed by the Institute, Sanghata Global and Village Capital, aims to turn compassionate and capable young professionals into talent scouts and investment managers serving local entrepreneurs and social-minded investors in low-income and weak-capital regions of the world.
Thanks to the generosity of Michelle and Jonathan, a new group of potential investors understands the impact of FMS, at home and abroad, on the scouts, entrepreneurs, and their families.
To learn more about how you can support the Frontier Market Scouts program, contact Kevin Wasbauer (firstname.lastname@example.org, 831.647.3545).