Each semester, students enrolled in the Global Microloan Program will update this site with their weekly program logs and final student presentations. The fall 2011 student teams include Information Technology and Communications, Marketing and Fundraising, Accounting, Program Audits and Enterprise Development, and Finance and Risk Assessment.
Marketing and Fund Raising: Adam Kotowski, Douglas Harrison, Franco Agrusa, Kemi Bamishe, Nakita Austin, Nicole Musco*
Technology and Communications: Bao Nguyen, Ruth Santana*, Shana Barnes, Xavier Mogollon
Finance and Risk Assessment: Akil Lamy*, Brett Gardner, Gurjeet Kaur, Raias Khan, Saachel Parker
Accounting, Program Audits and Enterprise Development: Anthony Caruana, Dana Yang, John Kenny, Marcial Zebaze , Sylvia Sam-Mensah*
Log # 1
By: Xavier Mogollon
At first glance, I thought I knew everything about the GLOBE Microloan Program. In fact, I had the preconceived notion that this course was going to be easy and covering topics on poverty, homeless, and third world countries. Obviously, I was wrong. GLOBE is a much deeper experience than just talking about poverty. The main objective is to teach those living in poverty that they can come out of it with some hard work and determination. Eventually, GLOBE (like many other microloan programs or social businesses) encourages those in poverty to open up a business and take out a small loan without the fear of not paying it back. A little incentive goes a long way with GLOBE.
Specifically, the teams in the program may seem separate and their goals intrinsic to the entire group, but all the teams complement each other in the long run. The Technology and Communications Team (which I am a member of) is aiming to identify any technological needs for GLOBE. This includes maintaining and updating the Program’s web site and social networking pages, as well as developing videos, photos, and any new media that arises. We also aim to work hand-in-hand with the Marketing and Fund Raising Team to bring up new strategies and promote the Program’s fundamental principles in micro lending. So far, things are running smoothly and our relationships with other team members are ever growing. Our main objectives may not even be possible without their cooperation.
If there is anything that I am impressed with within my group, it is their motivating attitude and work ethic. Everyone, including myself, is eager to accomplish team goals and make them a regular part of our life, despite the amount of work we receive in other courses or extracurricular activities. We strive to regularly update the Program’s several social networking sites, maintain a neat database for all online GLOBE files, and eventually find new ways to promote GLOBE and its mission. Pacing ourselves would be my only concern; it may be tough trying to find the time or even the motivation to complete these goals. We thank the previous Technology team for helping us and providing the essential tasks to which we follow (and improve upon) today.
It is truly amazing how both past and present GLOBE team members can stay connected despite personal obligations to other activities. This is turning out to be a great family-like experience.
By: Franco Agrusa
Some join GLOBE because they have a true fervor for helping the poor. Others join because the program’s exclusivity and prestige within the University. Some even join GLOBE because they see it as the ultimate resume booster. My personal reason for joining GLOBE had to do with the fact that I wanted to see something concrete emerge out of all the theory and concepts that I have been learning over the past three years at St. John’s University.
While we all have our different and specific reasons for joining, what’s important is that we will all leave with the same thing. That is, a real passion for our mission to help alleviate poverty across the world. It’s a passion that springs up from the massive amount of time, energy, and dedication that each of us has, and will continue to bring to the table. I can say these things with the utmost confidence because they are feelings that have surfaced already after only a few short weeks in the program. While it’s undeniable that the feeling of being in GLOBE is something in itself, I’m already surprised at how connected I feel to the program as a whole.
Every class I’ve taken thus far has been about getting MY grade and doing well for MYSELF. It’s a breath of fresh air personally to already have this feeling of wanting to progress in the program for the betterment of the unit and not just individual gratification.
The first few weeks have been basic housekeeping. We’ve been divided into our teams and established our overall objectives. Like past classes I’m sure, our objectives are bold but definitely reachable. As part of the marketing team I’m getting first hand experience already in so many aspects that concept and textbook learning just can’t give me. There are aspects of behavior, fundraising, event marketing, and so much more that are already showing up in our day-to-day operations. It’s amazing to me how everything I’ve learned over the years is being forced out of me out of pure necessity to use the information.
This isn’t meant to be a fluff piece on how amazing the GLOBE program is, or how it is teaching me new things. More so, it’s meant to be a statement of my initial feelings towards the GLOBE program and what it is evoking out of me. So far it has been a great experience, which definitely puts me in the right state of mind for the rest of the semester. My group has high ambitions for our events and we are looking to really make an impact financially, as well as in regards to awareness. Going into GLOBE I believe you look at everything from an outsider’s perspective. But even now I can see how everyone is changing to a more “this is my program” attitude and it’s great to be a part of it.
By: Saachel Parker
GLOBE is a program that embodies knowledge, dedication, and a heartfelt love for people of poverty. What is unique about GLOBE is that it is not the typical charitable organization that only provides funds to the less fortunate it does much more. In addition to financial assistance GLOBE provides its borrowers with pride, knowledge, and leadership. How is this done? Simply, by allowing the people of these circumstances to help themselves fight through poverty.
GLOBE provides these individuals with a small loan that may help get their self made business off the ground. Hopefully, with a thriving business the borrowers are able to ascend into another class level and repay their loan, which will create an everlasting cycle to help other individuals just like themselves. I am a firm believer that people who go through struggles have a higher drive to succeed because they know where they came from and know where they want to end up.
Walking into the fall 2011 GLOBE class I was on edge. I was on edge mainly because I did not know how I should operate or what was expected of me. My anxiety quickly changed to excitement when Dr. Sama did the introductory to the course. Immediately she captured my attention with a video about the possibilities that microloans can provide for borrowers. My heart just melted, and I am sure that this feeling was mutual throughout the class. After a couple heart-wrenching moments we quickly split in to our respective groups. I was placed in the Finance and Risk Group. I was completely ecstatic. As a Risk Management student I believe that this group will best showcase my talents. Throughout my Risk Management courses I am trained to identify the possible risk, analyze them, examine, then select the appropriate risk techniques, implement them and then monitor and revise them when needed.
This knowledge will make me be able to spot factors that I believe may have negative factors on GLOBE. As the coming weeks progress I am quite anxious to see how the decisions that the finance team make will effect GLOBE. With the knowledge of Dr. Sama I am sure that we will be able to manage the risk and distribute the loans in the most effective way possible.
GLOBE is the kind of class that I envisioned myself taking. Parallel to traditional management classes, GLOBE takes a hands on approach for students to succeed. It allows the student to not only read about microfinance but also actually operate a microfinance company that will work with real borrowers.
In my first two weeks of class, an impact has already been made on my life. I knew that GLOBE was designed for the people of less fortunate circumstances; to better assess their lives but I never knew how much of an impact that this class would have on me, the individuals that are doing the ground work to keep GLOBE afloat.
Accounting, Program Audits and Enterprise Development
By: Anthony Caruana
Last semester I decided to go to an extra credit event for my economics class. The event was on April 2 and it was called the Business Plan Competition Expo. I went to all of the tables including one all the way at the end of the hall that said GLOBE. When I learned about the course I was immediately intrigued. I thought the concept was incredible; a course where you give out real loans that really could make a difference and learn about micro finance firsthand. I was also surprised at how passionate the students were so I decided I would apply to the class.
On the first day of class I was excited and a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. But after the first class I was really excited for this semester which I can’t say for any other class. I am also excited to be in the Accounting group because my major is accounting. The readings are also very interesting.
In particular How to Change the World Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by David Bornstein. In chapter 16 he speaks about four “practices of innovative organizations.” The first practice is listening, considered a very important quality by Bornstein and rightfully so. The second is “pay attention to the exceptional” the third is real solutions for real people. I found the third one to be interesting because sometimes people forget why they are doing something or lose sight of a mission or goal. And Bornstein’s point is to be realistic and remember this is for real people who really could use the help. His last point was to focus on the human qualities.Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus is also a very interesting book. In chapter four Muhammad tells us about a visit to a poor village where he sees firsthand how the people in poverty are destined to nothing but poverty for them and their kids. He tells us of a story where he meets a women who borrows 22 cents from a trader to make a 2 cent profit selling bamboo stools. He is disturbed by this and is determined to make a difference. He goes to the bank and asks them to loan the village of 42 people who borrow less than $27 from traders. He wants to do this so the villagers can make more profit and live a better life.
The bank did not want to give out the loans to the villagers because they had no collateral. Muhammad disagreed with the whole banking system and its concept of collateral. Eventually he got through to the bank and got the loans only because he put himself as the guarantor. I found this to be a very interesting and eye opening story.
Log # 2
By: Ruth Santana
“Each individual person on this planet is packed with limitless capabilities. An ideal society should create an enabling environment around each individual so that all of his or her creative energies can be unleashed to the very fullest” (Muhammad Yunus ).
Could I one day be somebody like Muhammad Yunus? Have thoughts and words that feel like they can move mountains like him? Maybe not, but I can take his teachings and do something about it. Everybody has the potential to help another and at the end of the day we are all brothers and sisters. It shouldn’t be something optional to do, but a natural instinct to help those with more needs than us.
There are simple things that we can do to help these countries and these people directly and indirectly and it is up to us to find out what we are going to take on to make a difference. One of the things that surprised me the most about our readings this week was how our capitalist economy influences overconsumption and how this creates a problem to our earth and to others by diminishing the world’s resources for extra comforts that we do not even need.
After reading page 212 in Yunus’s book Creating a world without poverty, I realized that there are many more selfish things that we do in this world besides drinking all the juice at home or not helping around the house with chores. There are basic decisions that we choose everyday without analyzing that they might have a negative impact on quality of life, and to think that this is a global trend, the potential damages are magnified.
I don’t need pens in every color, makeup in every shade or purses that match with every outfit. I need to think GLOBE-ally and think of the bigger picture; of the domino effect that everything has in this world. If we think in this fashion, we will see things change, and the economy will eventually have to take a positive shift towards taking care of this planet and its people. We need to understand that overconsumption leads to scarce resources for us that have plenty… but what about to those that have nothing?
Discovery #2: I should always think of the bigger picture.
Log # 2
By: Adam Kotowski
During this week in GLOBE my eyes were opened to an interesting problem in the world. I became aware of this problem through one of the reading assignments we had to do for class. The one book talked about how mothers typically decide when and how much their children get to eat. When the mother or the family is really poor the mother has to decide how to distribute the food. Many times in these situations the mother will feed her son more than her daughter because as the son gets older he will take on jobs in society that typically only men can do and these jobs typically pay more than the jobs that woman take on.
Therefore, the son, as he gets older will bring in a higher income than the daughter and bring a larger income to the family. In other words, the son is more productive to the family than the daughter and will give the family a better chance of eating everyday. This is why when a person goes into ultra poor areas there are less females living among the population there than in other areas in the world. What happens is that mothers will abandon their daughters when they are born or feed them so little that they will die from starvation or the daughters will get a disease due to a poor diet.
Until, this class I had no idea things like this went on in the world, however, the statistics prove it is a reality. I could not imagine my mother, or any mother, having to choose to give her son more food to the point where her daughter would be at risk of dying. Now that I am aware of this reality it makes me want to find one of these families and give the mother a hundred dollars to start her own business. If the mothers living in these ultra poor areas could just get the capital they need to start their own businesses they could buy enough food to feed their children equally. This shows micro-loans can help people in so many ways. These loans can save lives and make people happier because they won’t have family members dying due to starvation. Now that I am aware of this problem I want to help. Since I feel this way, I am sure many other people would feel the same way if they were made aware. Since I am part of the marketing team this has opened my eyes to how important it is to make people aware of the social service that GLOBE provides. If more people are aware of this situation, like I now am, they may be more willing to help and donate to the GLOBE organization.
So far our group is starting to make progress on obtaining space for our events. This week we had a booth or station at service day to provide awareness to our cause. Also, we are starting to use our networks to form alliances with other clubs so we can host bake sales. We found out who we have to speak to in the event that we cannot partner with any other organization for a bake sale. Thus, far I think we are on pace to reach most of our goals. The only thing we are a little behind on is our promotional item. I think by now we should already have that figured out. Otherwise everything is looking good.
Log # 2
By: Gurjeet Kaur
Muhammad Yunus is a celebrity in the world of Microfinance. He has gained recognition as a monetary healer with not only the budding entrepreneurs but also the big corporations. With his hard work, people living in poverty have been able to step up and build a better life. Life without Microfinance would almost be unthinkable for some. Grameen Bank, an establishment of Yunus, is a financial institution lending to rural people. Although this is so, I see Grameen bank as a not-for-profit institution working to create a better world. “Thirty-five years ago, I did not know that I would start a bank, and that I would lend to poor people, especially to poor rural women. Like many other teachers, I was busy teaching in the classroom, far from the realities on the ground.” Muhammad Yunus writes about the thought process behind opening a lending program with a specific target market. Many people have marketed micro lending as an essential way for poverty driven people to help them help themselves.
In the majority of the developing countries, it is difficult to reach every person in need of a microloan. It would be nice to say that every person that wants a loan gets it but reality isn’t as sweet. I believe smaller organizations like GLOBE make it easier for more loans to go out, thus help more entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Being a part of this program helps me understand the basic needs of an entrepreneur from a business perspective. These people can’t access most of the things we take for granted, this where the differences come in. In the end, I think Muhammad Yunus wants us, the more fortunate ones, to provide for the others. In doing so, we can create a better world. GLOBE definitely is a huge part of that process!
As a part of the Finance and Risk assessment team, I have the opportunity to look over loan applications from a few of these entrepreneurs. The thing that struck me most about the applications was the ambition of the applicants to provide for their families. Even with the limited resources, they have learned to live life and bear with it. The loans will take them a step closer to being happier. It’s surreal for me to be that close to these people in need.
Log # 2
By: John Kenny
My trip to the opening of the Bronx branch of the Grameen Bank represents two simultaneous phenomena for which we must look at a false cognate of the Spanish word “realizar.” For the borrowers served by the new bank, many of whom are Hispanic, “ellos pueden realizar sus suenos.” Translating this to English, “they can fulfill their dreams.” The opportunity to receive credit to start up a small business makes this possible. The other phenomenon that occurred was my realization of the relevance of Grameen America so close to home. Seeing Muhammad Yunus at the Bronx Museum of the Arts helped make the bank a more real, tangible entity in my mind. The work of the Grameen Bank intrigued me from the moment I first read about it, but it also seemed like a distant, foreign idea rooted half a world away. Now, I understand the significance of Grameen in the lives of borrowers here in the United States as well.
In some instances, finally meeting a person who strikes you as brilliant can take the luster off because he/she does not live up to your expectations. Muhammad Yunus only enhanced my experience at the event because of his personality and mannerisms. If Professor Yunus does have an aura about him, it is an aura that puts others at ease; this effect reciprocates from the humility with which he carries himself. During his speech, he quickly and frequently gave credit to other people who assist in making Grameen America possible. Whether it was Shah Newaz or the adorable young children who performed their song so courageously, Yunus kept the applause for other people coming. Yunus never appeared anything but approachable, and the only negative aspect of his fame revealed itself when ABC news halted our chance of meeting him.
To make notes about the team, I look forward to the meeting scheduled with the associate treasurer with excitement and anxiety. The excitement stems from the desire to learn about the technical part of the accounting team’s task description, but the anxiety resonates from a similar vein because there seems to be such a great deal going on as it is. Therefore, the chance to meet with members of previous GLOBE classes arrives at a perfect time. The chance to hear about their trials and tribulations and ultimate solutions they found can only be an invaluable asset to us in facing potentially similar problems.
Finally, I need to comment on a couple sentiments expressed by Professor Yunus in his talk in the Bronx. He pleaded that one of the major hindrances to successfully running Grameen America surfaces not from problems with the borrowers but instead with strict regulations facing the lenders. The subject and debate of government regulation claim news headlines when it refers to major corporations. Yunus points out what the opposite end of the spectrum entails regarding loans to America’s version of the “unbankable.” Bureaucracy and red tape prevent people from getting much needed credit. Here, when trying to formulate an opinion of my own on that problem, I find a conundrum. Is it just to call for the government to issue mandates enforcing strict regulation on some businesses (large corporations) but allow for other businesses (microfinance institutions) to operate more freely?
Obviously, one would have to look in great detail at the effects the level of government regulation has not only on the businesses themselves but on the economy as a whole; undoubtedly in the short run the larger corporations would have more immediate effects, adverse or beneficial, in response to changes in the level of regulation.
Yunus, following the lead of his daughter, also referenced the disturbing unemployment problem. He eloquently empathizes with the struggles inflicted on so many individuals and families because of their inability to find work. He does not just refer to the unemployment numbers. When we just look at the numbers, we lose sight of the humanity of it all. In an uplifting manner, he explains the potential that microcredit has to offer the unemployed Americans and Europeans, instilling in them the belief that all humans are capable of great things if given the opportunity. Hopefully, his message will spread and ease the “sleepless nights” of so many people out of work.
Log # 3
By: Marcial Zebaze
“One dollar a day one billion people." - Quadir
This was a very great week to be a part of the GLOBE program. Having an education at St. John's University has been much more than an educational experience and more of a global experience. As a student in today's economy you are rarely given the opportunity to advance your career or at least that is what the statistics show.
Right now the unemployment rate is 9%. The best way to combat this economic disaster is to take on the right factors. This week we were privileged with the opportunity to network with Morgan Stanley and Microfinance Club of New York. The event was tailored around the devolution of authority and the evolution of empowerment. This is an overlooked concept that can really scale the bridge when it comes to a lot of economic issues.
As a developed economy we need to focus on the small entrepreneurs and small businesses, as it is those sectors that stimulate the growth and development of the economy. It has been reported that this area generates 60% of job creations. With greater focus on this area we can really improve a lot of developing nations.
Moving forward I can really see how this event will be beneficial to the Accounting team and this event really gave me some excitement to the progress within the group. I already had a robust attitude about advancements in GLOBE from the previous class meeting that was held with GLOBE alumni. Might I add how impactful that class session really was. But after the event I am really going to empower my team to move in a proactive spirit.
I was really impressed with the panel discussion that was held at Morgan Stanley. From the discussion there was a lot to learn. But what stuck with me the most was the concept of how productivity is the cure to inefficiency and how ultimately if you are connected you are enabled to do more. Which translates to me that if we as a team are better connected we will be enabled to do more.
Log # 3
By: Akil Lamy
This past week in GLOBE was a particular exciting and eventful one. The Spring 2011 GLOBE class made a visit to our class to share their experiences and insights. I was really looking forward to hear what they had to say about how they handle the challenges of managing such a dynamic program. As the students walked into our class, I realized the enthusiasm and confidence that projected from the face of each GLOBE alumni. All of them appeared to be happy to be there to share their side of the story with us.
The former GLOBE student fellows, Alina Rizvi and Marco Sementilli, reflected on their trip to Vietnam. I was so happy that these two students were able to get a firsthand account and experience meeting the type of people we try to help in this program. The Vietnamese people appear to be very ambitious people who do not have the resources to escape poverty. However, they are skillful, crafty and handy. I really do hope that we are able to extend GLOBE services to Vietnam so we could help some of these people achieve their goals.
The present Finance and Risk Assessment team met with the former team and we were able to get a clearer understanding of what is expected of us. We received pointers on some of the challenges we could expect and tips on how we could really confront them. Being the liaison of the Finance team is challenging but I feel like our group will be able to make so many positive changes. GLOBE is an institution that we are building and every group builds upon what the previous group achieved and we will never stop trying to achieve more.
Log # 3
By: Nicole Musco
For the first time this whole semester, I know exactly what I want to discuss in this log. There are always a lot of things I could mention in this recap, but tonight, after listening to Igbal Quadir and Firas Ahmad talk about new advancements in Bangladesh that can really improve the country, I was instantly inspired. Aside from being a really informative presentation, where I learned a lot of things I never knew about Bangladesh, it was also very creative and quite humorous. Quadir had some jokes, and lightened up the evening throughout his presentation.
Something that Quadir said that really stuck with me is “Connectivity is Productivity”. He notes that if a group of people are connected in some way to each other, they are more likely to increase their own production in order to continue to pay for that connectivity, and in turn advance themselves. When Quadir said this, at first I did not quite understand how it related to Bangladesh. I was skeptical about how poor people would feel the urge to have phones opposed to other necessities, such as food, water, shelter and clothing.
It was later explained that this form of connection created the jobs, which leads to income and purchasing power. From this, the people themselves can then decide what is important for them to buy, which stimulates the economy. I’d also like to mention there was a discussion about how in developing countries, giving aid to the government directly is not good; the aid must go directly to the people, so that wealth can be shared and not consumed. We as GLOBE do this, and it was great to see that we are taking the right steps to better the lives of entrepreneurs.
Log # 3
By: Shana Barnes
I found this week’s reading very interesting. In the book Banker to the Poor: Micro-lending and the battle against world poverty by Muhammad Yunus, chapter 10 focused on the issuing of loans, but specifically for those in the United States.Yunus stated, “Perhaps our two societies are different and thousands of miles apart, but I don’t see any difference between the poor in Bangladesh and the poor of Chicago. The problems and consequences of poverty are the same.” This statement alone allowed me to cross-reference with what we discussed in class, which was that everyone defines poverty differently depending on their location and situation.
I found it interesting, after reading the full chapter, those who agreed to or asked about further steps to getting a loan were all women. It seems to me that men were more egotistical about the matter and didn’t want to rely on others or want others to know they needed the help. Women just wanted to show their creativity and help their family in any way possible. Muhammad Yunus just wanted people to realize that no matter the idea, as long as that individual could see themselves succeeding economically and being able to repay the loan, the money was theirs for the taking.
Having that feeling of security was also a big issue. The formation of groups where each member took out loans at different times was a great way for entrepreneurs to encourage each other on the path to success. It also was a great opportunity to make friends and know that they were not alone.
Close friends or maybe even family, this was the feeling I got last week when GLOBE managers from previous semesters came to visit our class. They were there to provide us with guidance on what can make us as a class and GLOBE better. They gave great insight on what worked for them, what didn’t, and what we should try and implement. They were an inspiration and expressed how much they were moved by this class.
They also expressed how important it is to bond with the other teams, because by the end of this class we really do become a part of the GLOBE family. The presentation on the fellowship opportunity was great. It must have been amazing to have a first-hand experience. I think that one thing we should do as a class this semester is to promote this fellowship while promoting GLOBE as a class, so that more people will apply to a life changing opportunity that should not be missed.
Log # 4
By : Dana Yang
Last week during class time, we had a class trip to the Morgan Stanley office in the city. Morgan Stanley and Microfinance Club of New York hosted an event called Bottom-Up Entrepreneurship for Democracy and Development. The event consisted of two main speakers – Iqbal Quadir and Firas Ahmad. Professor Quadir had the idea of bringing technology to the poor and he worked with Mr. Ahmad to start an energy company called Emergence BioEnergy (EBI). EBI takes advantage of animals, such as cows, to produce energy in developing country, Bangladesh. It was a very informative presentation and discussion. I was intrigued by the idea that an animal would be able to produce electricity. Although, it is very costly and complicated, it’s a very efficient way to get Bangladesh connected. Professor Quadir stated, “People need to stay connected in order to improve and stay efficient."
For today, we will be presenting our achievements and goals so far in the semester. It feels like I walked into the first class just yesterday. This semester is zooming by and it seems like we don’t have time to do anything. Our team plan is to meet up more often and get work done. We are trying to juggle two different projects at the same time and we want to do the best in both. I really wish we had more time for this class. Three hours a week for GLOBE is not enough!
Even though, I am trying to pay attention to the accounting team goals and assignments, I can’t wait for the managers this semester to issue our first loan. I’m very excited for that. I’ve read all our borrowers’ stories and they all amaze me. I want to hear a new story and change someone’s life before this semester ends.
Log # 4
By: Brett Gardner
I really enjoyed the presentation Tuesday night at Morgan Stanley. I particularly enjoyed the presentation regarding Grameenphone. The process of improving productivity to increase standard of living is one I wholeheartedly agree with and find fascinating. I recently read a book, “Running Money: Hedge Fund Honchos, Monster Markets, and My Hunt for the Big Score” that discusses a comparable concept. The book discussed Eli Whitney and the Cotton Engine, and how it increased productivity. Moore’s Law, where the productivity of a transistor doubles each year while the price falls 25%, was applicable in the Industrial Revolution, despite the fact it wasn’t formed until later. Products improved, cost fell, and people become inefficient. This occurred in the Industrial Revolution, and has occurred in past years with the development of technologies. And this is what Grameenphone has been profiting from.
The fact that this was brought up when Grameenphone was discussed was fascinating to me. While Grameenphone, which I discovered was a publicly traded company, is a for-profit enterprise, it is providing a tremendous social service to the people of Bangladesh. Telecommunications allows these people to increase productivity and enhance their lives. While I haven’t done a thorough analysis of the company (such as what prices they charge, how they treat clients, etc.), I admire the initiative the company has taken. Despite current losses, it seems to have been successful. I can admire such risk-taking that also benefits many underprivileged people.
Companies that increase productivity for the inhabitants of a country will be successful. There’s always a demand for products and services that vastly increase productivity. Look at the United States and why a company like Microsoft has succeeded. It’s spreadsheets and document services have allowed us to be more efficient workers, and its operating system has allowed computer users everywhere to use computers efficiently. Because of this, the company has flourished. Grameenphone, despite a different service, has experienced success on a (much smaller) scale.
Telecommunications, of course, become subject to commoditization and excessive regulation over time, but Grameenphone has achieved financial (and social) success.
I also thought that it was interesting how one of the speakers spoke of how donations to governments of impoverished countries are detrimental to the development of these countries. This challenges conventional wisdom and is a fascinating statement. Many people think that donations in and of themselves are beneficial, but many times people don’t think through the second derivative effects of such acts.
Log # 4
By: Nakita Austin
As a member of the Marketing Team, I am so pleased to announce that we finally have our Promotional Item all figured out. For a moment, I was quite scared that we would not live up to the legacy of previous GLOBE classes to come up with an innovative and aesthetically pleasing promotional item that people will want to buy, but I think we’ve hit the mark on this one. We have decided on GLOBE mini back massagers that will be sold to “EASE THE TENSION ON POVERTY.” We thought about our promotional item for a long time because we knew that we wanted to be different from the other classes and come up with an item that we wouldn’t see on campus at an event or sold at our bookstore. We want to bring something new to the table every year, and we hope that this item makes a great profit this semester and in the future!
Last week, I was so fortunate to attend the Microfinance Event held at Morgan Stanley. My classmates and I were really excited beforehand because we would be able to dress up, go out into the city, and have a different kind of class to continue with our efforts to help eradicate poverty. You can easily get into a routine for classes but this break was definitely an insightful and engaging one and really helped bring us back to the meaning of who we are and what we are doing as fortunate and passionate people in the first world who want to help those in poverty. What was most interesting to me was the topic of the nature of progress. There are so many factors we have to consider when creating loan guidelines, giving them out, selecting borrowers and countries and everyone understands that. What is so great is that the more we expand as a Microfinance community, the more we can research and understand exactly what is needed, where, and how it can be implemented.
As a member of the Microfinance Club of New York, I now realize how many opportunities I will have in order to share my passion for Microfinance and spread the name of GLOBE around at various companies and to people who all share the same interests. I looked around the room and saw that these were professionals, students, parents, teachers, every day people who stayed out late to try and figure out how they too could help. I found all of the speakers intriguing and motivational as I jotted down notes on ways I too could help even outside of class. These types of experiences, tied in with our in class and on campus promotional efforts really enhance my experience here at St. John’s. I could not even imagine a course this insightful into a world that University Students traditionally do not have access to.
Log # 4
By: Bao Nguyen
Last week, all members of our class went to the event about Microfinance in Manhattan. It’s such a great experience to walk into Morgan Stanley headquarters. Dr. Iqbal Quadir opened up the meeting with a presentation, which was about the idea of empowering the poor by technology. He gave us a sample of a microfinance business in which he was involved with. He talked about the Grameenphone and the Village Phone Program.
Basically, the idea is to give women in distant areas loans, and then, they were trained to operate the phones and to charge others to use them at a profit. In my opinion, this is such a great idea. It’s not only lifting people from poverty but also giving them and others a way to access banking services or other Microfinance Services (MFs). As a member of IT Team, I would say this is a fabulous plan without a doubt. Indeed, the model has proven to be successful in many countries. I remember when he said, “One person uses our cell phone; it is not a big number. But imagine one million, one billion people use our cell phone, it would give us a big number.”
Firas Ahmad then followed his presentation. He developed a small-scale energy product to be operated by entrepreneurs in rural areas. Honestly, this is not the first time I heard about the idea of biogas. I have actually seen some people who have done quite well in my country with this process. However, without the technology and knowledge as Mr. Firas Ahmad has, they can’t make it become a prosperous business idea. The idea to apply biogas into business in order to produce electricity for running equipments in remote areas is brilliant.
After attending the event, as a member of IT team, I can say technology plays an important role in microfinance.
Log # 5
By John Kenny
A class remains just a class when in your time outside the classroom you avoid any connection to the material. More and more, I find GLOBE and microfinance in general surfacing in discussion and conversation outside of school. These instances solidify GLOBE’s relevance in my life as more than just a typical educational experience. Just last weekend at a family gathering, I saw two of my uncles disobeying a rule they should have a learned a long time ago: don’t mix partying and politics. When two people from seemingly opposite ends of the political spectrum begin jovially discussing the role of government in the lives of Americans, the fun can often turn into a heated a debate. Therefore, I walked away before their tensions escalated, but not without asking myself this question: W.W.M.Y.D?
What would Muhammad Yunus do? Or in this case what would he say, regarding the welfare state in the United States that my uncles were debating. I don’t think anyone could ever doubt Yunus’s heartfelt consideration of the needs of the poor and hence his life-long work in microfinance. Nonetheless, the manner in which he believes most effectively assists the poor does not consist of “handouts.” Yunus writes, “In general, I am opposed to giveaways and handouts. They take away initiative and responsibility from people…Handouts encourage dependence rather than self-help and self-confidence.” He makes an assumption about human nature, in that people demonstrate more interest in attaining things for free than in “accomplish[ing] things on their own.” Taken in this context, Yunus could be perceived as opposing any expansion to a welfare state.
To be fair, Yunus does espouse the belief that some people start at a major disadvantage. One of the factors adding to such a disadvantage is the lack of access to credit and other institutionalized financial support. The people who most need these cannot receive them because of a lack of collateral, credit history, etc. We’ve learned much about the Grameen Bank, but to reflect back on my uncles’ discussion, where else in the United States can people access much needed credit? I learned a little bit more about this today when stepping into the offices of Project Enterprise.
My interview with Project Enterprise, a microfinance institution in each of the boroughs of New York City with the exception of Staten Island, proved the value of GLOBE in this stage in my life. The education offered by GLOBE proved applicable in the questioning involved in the interview process, and the student-managed aspect of the program proved to foster further discussion. The interview process made me realize how my interest in the field of microfinance originally sparked by GLOBE has evolved from curiosity to outright passion.
The increase in cohesion between the teams impresses me. There now exist open waves of communication, and GLOBE as a unit needs this responsiveness to operate effectively. I can personally attest to the benefits of this by commenting on the past week’s proceeding. Representatives from the marketing team and I met to work on clarifying the purchase of the promotional items. Without such communication, the accounting team could not keep an accurate, up-to-date record of the cash position of GLOBE’s funds.
My sentiments this week could not be more different than those I felt last week. Instead of worrying about several deadlines, an air of excitement fills me considering the up-and-coming events we have. The bake sale approaches at a quicker and quicker rate, and after attending the Bottoms Up event at Morgan Stanley two weeks ago, I’m keen to learn about more entrepreneurial ideas. The solar paneled backpack discussion should be a good one Tuesday night.
Log # 5
By Raias Anthony Khan
In a way, it worked out for the best that I would submit my Log after meeting today. The presentation of Voltaic was truly inspirational. So much in fact that it took me to a desirable frame of mind that focused on creativity in the direction of social good. I began to realize the impact that one would have if he or she would donate their creativity to a social cause in fullness. This would reflect the ultimate definition of Muhammad Yunus’ concept of a social business in today’s world.
I was so influenced by the presentation that I approached my team with a suggestion to change the direction of our social business plan proposal. I suggested a solar hat model or something of that nature. We laughed because it was almost a rip off of Voltaic’s potential product line.
I began to believe that when you are truly passionate about a certain field or product in an industry, it is the way that you portray and influence critics and potential buyers that truly builds your brand. I could feel the reassurance of the success of Votaic’s brand increase as questions being asked were paired with accurate and precise responses. It led me to think that if I could take the key ideas I would gain from GLOBE, MFCNY events and the presentation on Voltaic, it can truly give me the frame of mind and courage necessary to voice my creativity and passion for helping others. If I extract even a tiny ideal from GLOBE’s mission into my personal and professional life, I believe that I can succeed at anything I pursue. This is because of the secured and sustainable impact that GLOBE makes to the applicants, people and businesses we come into contact with. I am proud and honored to be in such a prestigious program and University that truly has a philanthropic mission to benefit the world and alleviate poverty.
Log # 5
By Kemi Bamishe
Last week’s assigned reading was the seventh chapter of Joanna Ledgerwood’s Microfinance Handbook: An Institutional and Financial Perspective. This chapter concerned management information systems in a microfinance environment. Ledgerwood began the chapter by stressing the importance of management information systems. Management information systems help entities collect, organize, and distribute data throughout their organizations. Managers have to utilize data to make key decisions for the company or organization; and therefore it is crucial that the data, which is shared in the information system, is not only accurate, but also current.
Microfinance institutions can operate more effectively with management information systems. GLOBE managers, for example, do not disburse loans and collect repayment directly. Those tasks are carried out by our field partners, The Daughters of Charity, who have a presence in the countries in which the borrowers that we provide loans to live. Our borrowers are located in parts of the world where technology is scarce, which makes communication very difficult. So, there is some knowledge asymmetry. I think it is important for all parties, especially management, to be aware of the status of the institution’s loan portfolio at any given time. I believe the implementation of a management information system, which the field representatives have access to, can help alleviate some of this information asymmetry. A management information system can help organizations run more effectively by improving the frequency of communication (information is updated on a consistent basis by those given access). Managers can have a better idea of the status of loans in the institution’s portfolio and make better decisions for the present and going forward.
Log # 5
By Ruth Santana
To think that we started this class over a month ago with a very similar thought as the beginning of Martin Luther King’s famous speech “I have a dream”. I think we very much have matured our structures as teams and our efforts week by week, and in just 6 weeks, we are starting to see the managerial skills pull through and we are showing the University what we can do. We have dreams, but we are making them a reality.
This past week, my team has been working on ways to develop a new twist on our idea for making a GLOBE trailer. Visiting the YouTube website that GLOBE currently has, we have seen that previous classes have done great work with these and definitely will be hard to top, but I do confide in my teams’ creativity and talent. We have decided to use this trailer as promotional tool, and add to it as the semester continues to create a longer, more complete video that will be the movie. Now, creating a promotional tool means we need to promote it! I found the contact person for this task and we will be working to get the word out there about what we do, to get people to react and support our cause, and to reach those students that would like to be a part of this program next semester or in the future. We need to let people know and expand our reach for everyone to see.
I hope that these types of courses continue to exist and expand into other realms of classes such as theology, ethics, a specific country’s history classes, and many more business classes, for more and more students to have the opportunity to grow in many ways; with hands on experience like we do in GLOBE.
Discovery #5: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”
Log # 6
By Sylvia Sam-Mensah
“…the most successful entrepreneurs were not necessarily more confident, persistent or knowledgeable. The key differences had more to do with the quality of their motivation.”
-David Bornstein, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
From reading the above-mentioned book as part of our assigned readings for the GLOBE class, I come to appreciate the value of motivation and the importance of motivation as a driving force for all the achievements of some very prominent Social Entrepreneurs like Muhammad Yunus.
At one point in the GLOBE class, we had a discussion about poverty in an attempt to define what it means to be poor. We talked about all the negative things that come with being poor like the fact that poverty seems cyclical, that people living in poverty have limited resources and limited access to the necessary tools to meet the basic human needs. More important though, was the eye opening explanation that people living in poverty are motivated by their circumstances to keep hope alive and to do as much as possible to take their families out of this misfortune and to make sure that their children and generations to come will not have to endure the hardships that they have endured.
This makes the work of GLOBE even more pivotal because we are serving the best entrepreneurs out there. They already possess the ‘motivation’ factor, which is a mark of successful entrepreneurs. We are only giving the poor the necessary tools, through microfinance, to bring themselves out of poverty and one day, together with all the efforts made by microfinance institutions around the world, we’ll achieve Muhammad Yunus’ dream as expressed in this quote:“Once poverty is gone, we'll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They'll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society - how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.”
― Muhammad Yunus, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism
Log # 6
By Gurjeet Kaur
How can you help those in poverty? Donating to a good cause, volunteering time from your busy schedule, and raising money at a fundraiser, all seem like viable answers. While we do everything in our power to change the world, it still seems to be the same. Speaking from experience, I have done a lot of donating to non-profits but haven’t come close to realizing what poverty feels like. One can only be in a state of poverty to really know how it feels. As the weeks go by, GLOBE is becoming a learning experience in how to fight poverty over the world.
One of the first things that became apparent to me was that in order to eliminate some type of poverty, you have to obtain a direct link to the underdeveloped countries. There are various benefits related to this. On one hand, the donor knows exactly who is receiving the donations and how they are used. It is definitely helpful for the donor to be in the whereabouts in this type of situation. On the other hand, there is no middleman to hinder the giving and receiving of awards. As much as we rely on middlemen to give away our donations, it is always better to have the upper hand. I am not saying that non-profit organizations don’t disseminate money to the right receivers; I am saying that if one is really keen on reducing poverty, the latter way is better.
GLOBE is a non-profit organization committed to reducing poverty by helping budding entrepreneurs get started on a better life. It is a hands-on program for the students in the class. The students not only manage the program but also ensure its longevity. Halfway through the program, I can say I have gained an insight into the world of poverty. The approval of five loans from the Congo gives me a greater understanding of how important improvement is in one’s life, no matter where you are. The entrepreneurs gain an advantage in their region and are able to support a sufficient economy. With that, I am more than satisfied to have joined a life-changing class.
Log # 6
By Douglas Harrison
When thinking about GLOBE, I think about the word sustainability. I also think about how we as GLOBE members are helping individuals gain a way to live a life sustained. This past week, I was able to see a different side of sustainability in a more technological sense.
As a class, we went to visit Dr. Carroll’s product management class where we listened to a talk about Voltaic Systems given by Jeff Crystal. In this talk, he gave a general overview of the company and showed us some of his products. Voltaic Systems is a company that makes products that can produce and store its own energy to run electronics by using solar energy. While listening to this talk I was able to make a connection between the lack of energy and poverty.
For a person using electronics, the lack of power for the equipment can equate to not having the things necessary at the time. In poverty, a person doesn’t have the necessities. I thought it was a great way to think about how a company such as Voltaic could help alleviate the issues associated with powerless electronics. GLOBE is doing the same with poverty and doing it well. Alleviating poverty one loan at a time.
In recent events, the GLOBE Bake Sale was great! While I was walking around in the Treat for Change cape, I was given the opportunity to tell people about GLOBE and help raise money for this great cause.
Log # 6
By Shana Barnes
The marketing team put on their first event of the semester. Participating in Treat for Change was a great experience. I saw the previous GLOBE classes take part in this event and the first thing I thought was “Why are all these people walking around with capes acting like superheroes?” That’s when I realized it was the perfect way to catch the attention or even the eye of many. It allows for not only stares, but also people to ask questions and find out about the meaning behind the mission. I am usually a reserved type of individual that does not like attention to be drawn to me, but this event allowed me to socialize with people I have never met before. My main motivation that kept me opened to the whole experience was the picture of the borrower on the back of my cape. It is amazing feelings to know that all the money GLOBE raises goes straight to helping these individuals lift themselves out of poverty by receiving a small loan.
The bake sale was great as well. Everyone did their part and we had a large variety of baked goods to choose from. Working at the table made me aware of how devoted some of the faculty, staff, and administrators are to GLOBE. They were well aware of the power of their donation and were very generous. The bake sale definitely sparked the interest of some students I could personally see as future GLOBE managers. For the bake sale, the IT team made it a goal to increase GLOBE awareness through the use of social media. We were successful and we were able to increase our twitter followers, more specifically, St. John’s students.
I also enjoyed last week’s guest speaker series hosted by Dr. Carroll. Jeff Crystal, from Voltaic System had a very interesting take on solar panels. The fact that his next step in his business is to expand to people in third-world countries where people have no access to electricity intrigued me. I can also take everything that he mentioned into account for my team’s business plan because not having electricity was one of our obstacles. Based off his reaction, I could tell he was interested in GLOBE and what we were doing as a class. We are very thankful for the donation of one of his latest solar products.
Log # 7
By Dana Yang
The final presentation is just around the corner. There are only a handful of classes left and our team feels like we still have many things to perfect. GLOBE is not only a microloans program for students to learn about the outside world and changing the lives of our borrowers but also for the students to learn other essential skills such as time management. Time management skills are very important for this class. You have to learn how to balance all the objectives with your teammates and how to make everything perfect. Nothing can go wrong; recovering from what you did wrong is very difficult for this class.
We have been working very hard in updating the Lexicon, creating different surveys and new systems, and updating our accounting system because we want to create a legacy for the future. We keep thinking that the previous accounting team did so much that it’s so hard for us to top them. We are trying very hard to improve every single thing passed down to us from them.
During our previous class, Dr. Brenton introduced to us the Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The GIS is a mapping tool that would assist us in locating and determining the geographic details at the locations that we currently have loans in. The accounting team decided that we could take advantage of this system to assist us in our “enterprise development” and “impact survey” goals for the semester. We can utilize this system to help come up with different business ideas that do not exist in the area yet. As for the “impact survey,” we can use the map to see how the loan that we distributed has affected the neighborhood as a whole. We are very excited and are trying to set up a meeting with Dr. Brenton, hoping he can assist us in our goal.
GLOBE continuously works hard to promote our program on campus. This way we can increase awareness and get more donations. For the upcoming class, we will be heading to the Manhattan campus for an event called “Managing Risk in Microfinance: Lessons Learned from the Field.” I hope to learn more aspects about microfinance as well as continue to introduce the GLOBE program to others. I am very proud to call myself a GLOBE manager and I want our class to prove to Dr. Sama that it wasn’t a mistake to accept us into the class.
Log # 7
By Akil Lamy
The Finance and Accounting teams have been busy communicating and working with each other to make changes to GLOBE’s existing repayments system. The first few semesters of GLOBE was heavily focused on getting the loans out to entrepreneurs in the field. However, the present GLOBE Finance and Accounting teams realize that we have an apparent weakness in our repayment system. I believe that we are strong on the lending and loan approval aspect but not so much on the repayment side of the equation. Therefore we have decided to lend direct focus to trying to make amendments and improvements to the system.
The changes made to the system will benefit the Spring 2012 GLOBE class and many other classes in the future. We have not made final recommendations to Dr. Sama yet but we have a lot of ideas on how to recoup our loan installments on time. We have to improve our communications with the Daughters of Charity in the field. We would go about this by asking the Daughters to do a semiannual report on the borrowers in the field. The semiannual report would be a simple document with the names of the borrowers, amount paid per month for the six-month period and the interest paid. The document would be really simple and understandable to people of varying education levels. We had to decide between quarterly reports and semiannual reports. Semiannual would work better because there are two GLOBE classes per year, the fall and spring. The reports could be submitted in March and September; this would work well because incumbent Accounting and Finance GLOBE managers would be available to analyze the information.
I do not view the repayments challenge as being indicative of a shortfall of the previous GLOBE managers. When organizations are young and growing, it is difficult to forecast some of the problems that may arise. That is why we are here, we have to recognize our strengths and weaknesses as an organization and make the necessary changes. The Finance and Risk team also met to evaluate our performance thus far. We are satisfied with our progress but we are not comfortable. We are busy examining the interest rates and we would like to at least give our first loan to an entrepreneur in Vietnam.
Log # 7
By Franco Agrusa
Two weeks have passed since our last formal meeting for GLOBE and we have more or less reached the homestretch in the semester. At this point plans are in place for the rest of the semester, including events, ideas, and the final presentation. With the final presentation looming over our heads, many of us are taking a hard look at our objectives and doing the best we can to reach them. These past couple of days have definitely helped me come to the realization that what the previous GLOBE managers said was true, that the most important thing is to start early. I feel that I underestimated the amount of work that is involved in making GLOBE successful each semester. While it is absolutely important to look at past class goals and try and surpass them, it’s also important to work within your own limitations. The objectives that the Marketing team set out in the beginning of the semester are bold to say the least, but we are working as hard as we can to meet those objectives and to leave a legacy.
Part of that legacy happens to be the phone campaign, which we are in the process of implementing. We have been actively working to raise awareness on campus among students and faculty, but also realize that alumni are an important part of the equation. Our presence on campus has been good and we have had a few events including the bake sale and Treat for Change which have basically forced the GLOBE name and logo upon the student body. It is nice to see that GLOBE itself is becoming more talked about around campus. On several occasions I had mentioned GLOBE in the beginning of the semester, only to be met with blank stares and questions. Now, the mention of GLOBE brings nods and understanding of the program; even a reference to Yunus as I had mentioned in my last log. Overall, the awareness among the student body is noticeable, with even more room to grow. With our path set in terms of student awareness, we are now shifting our focus and really cracking down on the fundraising aspect of the course. The phone campaign, which we are trying to implement, brings the alumni element into the fundraising efforts. The calls will be geared towards recent graduates who embody the spirit of giving. Hopefully, this campaign will provide us with the funds we need to truly call this semester a success. Recently, a small group of classmates and myself got the chance to sit down and train with someone from the call center, Aaron, who has been instrumental in putting this campaign together. After going through the system and being properly trained alongside classmates, it is even clearer that this campaign is absolutely feasible. At this point, we have the training and are ready to start the campaign as soon as the call center itself is ready. With their assistance in providing the correct list we will be able to reach a large amount of people who are willing to support GLOBE.
Tonight, we had the opportunity to be a part of a Microfinance Club of New York event held on the Manhattan campus of St. John’s University. The event, which featured four women who were heavily involved in the world of microfinance, education, and micro-insurance, was a discussion panel. This panel gave the GLOBE managers the chance to see how many different approaches there are to assessing risk involved with microfinance and how that risk translates to success. In comparison to the event we all attended at the Morgan Stanley HQ, this panel discussed microfinance from a more hands on standpoint, while the previous event took a more technical view. Working the event and hosting a table made me, in particular, feel like a part of the microfinance world. Just as the last event, it was insightful, as well as intimidating to see the level of expertise that these women portrayed on the subject. It was intimidating in the sense that it takes a great deal of passion for a subject to truly be a leader in it.
Overall, the past two weeks have been successful in certain aspects and have set most of us on the direct path to the final presentations. November will be a big month for the globe managers. It includes the initiation of our phone campaign, our event during entrepreneurship week where we will begin our raffle, a bake sale on November 21st, and preparations for the final presentations. We look forward to the challenge.
Log # 7
By Shana Barnes
GLOBE is more than just an acronym, term, definition, or even just a class. At this point in the semester, GLOBE means so much more. My team and I had to hit the ground running. Within the first couple times we met, we became very close and had to quickly devise our team objectives that we will follow as a guideline for the rest of the semester. We thought we touched on some major points, but little did we know that by being in the class we would learn so much more than we imagined. Between regular class lectures, attending different events, and having guest speakers, they all inspire me to personally want to do more. With the semester being so short, as a class, we can only accomplish the realistic goals we set for ourselves. Our best bet would be just to help guide the following GLOBE managers to take on the task of doing what we could not.
What is Poverty Mapping? I never knew what this was until Dr. Brenton came in as a guest speaker. Global Poverty Mapping can be defined as “A way of understanding the global distribution of poverty and the geographic and biophysical conditions of where the poor live.” One of the benefits of Poverty Mapping is that it helps policy makers in designing ways or interventions to help reduce poverty. I personally think that this is a great way to spread the word about what is happening around the world. Many, including myself, did not realize how drastic poverty was in certain countries just by reading a simple statistic. By having an actual visual picture to express the importance of a topic such as this, will allow it to hit home for many. Reading about something might not have the same effect on some people the way a picture can. The saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I believe that future GLOBE managers should somehow incorporate this into their team objectives, which can help raise awareness of this issue.
The IT Team has been posting inspirational quotes daily on all of GLOBE social media platforms. I find that many who visit our sites are drawn to something simple as a quote because they can relate to it or can take something away from its meaning. Certain quotes I use as a reminder of why I am doing the things that I do. In relation to GLOBE, the one quote that I read every so often is a quote by Muhammad Yunus. “I think, social business is the most logical thing to do. If we had done that, we could reduce all the problems we have.” This is a great quote that I can easily relate to when writing my first social business plan ever. A small idea of how to help others can go a long way without one even realizing it from the start. It is amazing just to think that the power of social businesses can really change the world we live in today.
Log # 8
By Anthony Caruana
John and I met with Dr. Brenton last week to discuss how we can implement poverty maps for the enterprise development portion of the Accounting team. The meeting went very well in my opinion because Dr. Brenton suggested we come up with a rapid response survey to help us obtain data so it can eventually be compared to data future GLOBE classes can obtain. Dr. Brenton’s idea of a rapid response survey is ideal because it is meant to be a short survey that will provide us with a lot of information that we don’t have (that will also be useful for the finance team) but it can also be used as a “base” that can be compared down the road. This will accurately capture GLOBE’s impact on the areas GLOBE has given loans to. This data could be used for many things including possibly helping the finance team decide if they want to expand where they want to give loans to. Even though the survey may seem short it is designed to be easy for the Daughters of Charity to answer so we do not put an extra burden on them.
We also finalized a borrower repayment form (with the help of the finance team). This is designed to help easily track the loans; when the loans are given, the loan amount, the date of repayment, the amount and interest paid. This information is very important and will be very useful because currently we do not have complete information that this form will provide. These two forms may seem like we are giving the sisters a lot to do but we tried to simplify it as much as possible and both documents are very important and will be vital to future GLOBE classes.
Today’s event ‘Entrepreneurship in a Global World’ was a huge success! Nakita did an amazing job!! Ingrid Fray was also a great speaker. Every question she answered resulted in amazing advice and insight. Dress for Success was an amazing program; I like how she went above and beyond similar programs. She not only gave a suit for an interview to women on welfare but she gave a second suit for a second interview. She did not stop there; if the women were hired Ingrid gave them a week’s worth of clothing and followed them for months. She did this because most of them were homeless and were not used to the corporate world so if they needed help Ingrid was there to help them. She also spoke about her work at Philip Morris, which was very interesting. Her job was to help domestic violence victims and let people know that Philip Morris was this doing this without it looking like Philip Morris was doing it for good publicity. This was a great idea that she came up with in terms of helping the victims (who felt they were stuck because of money). Her idea was to hide money in their lipstick containers; she got the idea from a former boss of hers. Overall all of the speakers were great and the event was a huge success!!
Log # 8
By Saachel Parker
This week in GLOBE was entitled Managing Risk in Microfinance: Lessons Learned from the Field. This lecture was led by panelist Deborah Drake, Karla Brom, Christian Ruehmer, and Janice Abraham. As risk management experts they individually spoke about their experiences within the Microfinance industry in regards to risk management mistakes Microfinance Institutions most frequently make. They also stated the techniques needed to keep your microfinance institution from not being successful.
Lessons learned from the lecture: From This lecture I learned that microfinance institutions have been steadily increasing over a twenty year period. They are now able to assist impoverished people worldwide, while providing a wide variety of services. With their new found success also comes hardships. Some of the microfinance institutions did not effectively manage their institutions and now are in jeopardy of failure. They then spoke about how these institutions need to identify, assess, implement and monitor their risks. These steps will immediately lead to improvement in their company’s success. This lecture was very interesting to me, specifically because I am a part of the risk and finance team and learning these techniques are essential for our group to succeed.
Internally in GLOBE the finance and risk team has been preparing for our final presentation. We also have been researching Vietnam and the process it will take for us to branch out and help the people of Vietnam bring themselves out of poverty. We also are still exploring probable interest rates and attempting to get in touch with the Daughter of Charity to see how everything is going with the previous loans that were distributed.
Finally, the GLOBE class has also been preparing for our big fundraising event that going to be launched on November 15, 201l. The risk and finance team donated a basket of goodies that will be perfect for two to enjoy a day at the theater. I am extremely excited and can’t wait to see the outcome of our event.
Log # 8
By Adam Kotowski
This week the marketing team had our main event. We spent all week planning the event trying to get tables, trying to staff the tables, come up with raffle ideas and ways to sell our promotional items. One of the marketing members, Doug, ended up making flyers and posters for the promo item and the event. They all came out great! Another member of the marketing team, Nakita, did a great job of organizing the whole event. We were able to raise a hundred dollars and we are still selling raffle tickets until December 6th at our final presentation. This gives us plenty of time to raise more money to be able to give out more loans to people struggling with poverty. We also hope to have one more bake sale and our final presentation event. Besides raising money, I think our main event really gave the GLOBE brand awareness around campus. Our table was decorated in GLOBE colors with GLOBE flyers, promotional items and there were students standing around the table in their GLOBE tees. Everyone seemed to be really interested in what GLOBE was when they walked over because of our table. They all wanted to know what GLOBE was before they even asked about the raffle or the promotional items. This is really important because living in America one of the richest countries in the world I think we all forget there are people starving every night and programs like GLOBE not only help these starving people, but also remind other people that not everyone is as well off as we are.
As the semester comes to a close I hope we continue to promote GLOBE. This week I was in New York City, one the richest cities in the world if not the richest, and even here there are people right in front of you starving begging for money. Many of these people have disabilities and their sole job has become begging for money so they could buy food. At this point it occurred to me that if poverty exist right here in the richest city in the world imagine what it is like in one of the poorest continents in the world, where not just a few people are starving, but whole towns, cities and countries. I think people forget how lucky we are to live in the United States. We take it for granted. Even us, in GLOBE, do we really understand what it is like to live in poverty in African countries? Do we really understand who we are actually helping? Do we know what it is like to starve or have children that are starving that you can’t feed? In America a person that is considered to be in poverty could still be living in a house with cable TV and food on the table every night. In Africa, they would be considered rich. That is why it is so important to explain to people what GLOBE is and the people we are helping.
Log # 8
By Xavier Mogollon
Filming the video logs over the past few days has been a very good learning experience. At first, we had not expected such a large turnout of volunteers for the video logs and didn’t realize how eager everyone was to sacrifice their time to help us. To keep up with all the different times and dates, we had to make a small schedule for the Vlogs and keep special attention to the amount of volunteers we had each day. Sometimes a conflict had to be settled with the scheduling of the volunteers especially if they were on the same team. We came up with a solution to the problem by filming team members together, which would reduce the time spent on filming one person. Taking down phone numbers was a very helpful task that kept the volunteers updated on their roles in the videos. Coming up with good, interesting questions was also a good learning experience. We really wanted fun and thought-provoking questions that gave the audience a small taste of GLOBE. We also decided that asking five questions per person would be manageable and make each video much more organized.
The actual filming sessions were slightly more painstaking than the preparation. Even though we kept a precise schedule of volunteers and their times, we did not expect how long each session would take until we received the perfect footage. While we were interviewing one volunteer, another volunteer’s time would pass and we would have to reschedule them for another time and date. We had to pay particular attention to everyone’s class schedule and see who had a legitimate excuse for leaving early (just so we can prioritize volunteers and filming schedules). On another note, trying to find a quiet area or room to film was also time-consuming.
Time management was a large portion of this experience, paying particular attention to the time of day and the energy (enthusiasm) of our volunteers. We found that as the day dwindled, many of our volunteers had lost most of their energy and seemed out-of-focus during filming. It was our duty to pep up our volunteers and reassure them that this process would go smoothly if they cooperate. Luckily, our volunteers were understanding and made quite an impact in our video logs – their answers were lively and their interest was strong.
We are just about done with the video logs and are scrambling for time; it will take a few hours to fully edit the videos and compile them into four video logs. Luckily, my team has become highly motivated and considers this part of our project a fun experience. I would like to do this again!
Log # 9
By Sylvia Sam-Mensah
In preparation for the final presentations, my team and I have been working to bring together everything we have worked on throughout this semester. With everything starting to fall into place, we are excited to present to Tobin Faculty and Staff and all GLOBE supporters. I would like to share some of the things that we will be touching in our final presentations.
According to our objectives, we met with the Anne Marie Schettini-Lynch Assistant Vice President and Associate Treasurer and Christine Torres from Tobin to learn about the current accounting structure at the beginning of the semester. Based on the figures we received, we developed a formal and standardized system of accounting for all cash receipts and expenditures using Google Docs. Subsequently, we updated the account throughout the semester with all activities from this semester. We chose to use Google Docs because all documents are saved on the sky drive and may be edited from this central location to avoid having duplicate copies of the same documents. We have also scheduled a meeting at the end of this semester to reconcile balances with Ann Marie to reconcile any differences.
We were also handed the Business Lexicon project, which is supposed to educate the reader on basic financial terms to equip them to better understand these in dealing with our program or any other MFI. Since our field agents, the Daughters of Charity are responsible for explaining the program, loan application process and the terms and conditions of our loans, we believe that starting this financial literacy education with them will go a long way to lessen their burden and benefit our program in the long run. We are currently working on further simplifying the terms for the borrower’s to easily understand since they have no pre-exposure to financial literacy education.
Working closely with the Finance Team, we have been working at designing an Outstanding Loan Tracking System for the loans that are out in field. This is a source of major concern to us because the loans terms are almost due and with communication challenges; it is difficult to find out in real time, what is going on in the field. This form will serve as a confirmation from the field to reconcile our records with information like the date the borrower received the funds (which determines when repayment begins) and the suggested and actual monthly payments.
Our team is also working on developing a GLOBE Budgeting System, which seeks to be able to give the stated amount which is indeed, only 5% of funds donated to GLOBE is used for administrative expenses. Since our semester is rounding up, this may not be fully implemented in our class but we hope to pass it along to the next GLOBE generation. We have designed a Budget request form for this purpose, which we hope they will be able to check spending and ensure that where possible, all funds used are bringing in as much direct generated revenue as possible.
I look forward to discussing progress on these tasks and the rest of my team’s tasks in the next log.
Log # 9
By Raias Anthony Khan
This past week’s bake sale was another great success for GLOBE. I am glad that I was able to participate and bake goods for the sale. I talked to an on campus Chartwells barista supervisor over the past week about the university donating goods to an organization on campus for future bake sales. I think this is a great way to utilize “day old” baked goods in the university community. I will talk to the marketing team this week about looking into this more seriously.
We also received the Vietnam Loans and are undergoing a detailed review on them. We feel that the new group loan is an exciting and new opportunity for GLOBE to make a larger impact in the communities we serve. It will also create a viable collateral model to minimize GLOBE’s risk exposure.
I am confident that with GLOBE’s entrance into Vietnam this semester, we will begin a larger and grander mission in Southeast Asia. The finance and risk assessment team so far is extremely excited to start working on the final presentation, social business plan and Vietnam loan proposals.
Over the break I look forward to analyzing the new Vietnam loans and creating a detailed and precise recommendation for the steering committee.
Log # 9
By Nicole Musco
Someone once said to me "to the world you may only be one person, but to one person you may be the world”. This quote has a variety of intrinsic value. But it applies to what we do here in GLOBE. Compared to the world we are only one organization, but to the people who we support, we are the world to them. And without us, their lives would be much more difficult. I feel that sometimes in the hustle and bustle of GLOBE we can lose sight on exactly what we are doing and what we are all here for. I know the stress of the semester is difficult on all Managers and the Marketing team feels it as well, but it is important to remember our purpose.
Thanksgiving is this week, and I feel as if I have learned so much in such a short time. So much about Microfinance, myself, my peers, and St. John's as a whole it’s truly incredible!
Tonight's lecture as per usual fashion was able to give me some insight to something I was familiar with but not too educated about, Microfinance in developed countries. As a class we specifically spend a lot of the time focusing on the under developed economies of the world so it was interesting to see what Microfinance does from a developed economic standpoint.
Dr. Sama showed us an ABC interview about KIVA; a Microloan program here in the United States and it was really interesting to note that this was the benchmark model for GLOBE. Kiva is a website that allows borrowers have a profile which includes an uploaded picture, information about how much money they need and about their business. Lenders are then able to review profiles and decide if they want to lend money to the borrower. The website hosts the borrower profiles, processes the incoming loans, and distributes repayment. I was fairly unaware of a program such as KIVA and found the video extremely educational.
We spent some time brainstorming why GLOBE chose the under developed countries, and with all factors included it is clear why, the money goes further, it helps to stimulate the economy, and the loan requests are much smaller in amount.
We truly do a great service to those that we help and do really impact their lives in positive ways. We need to remember that all our time makes the entire struggle worthwhile.
Log # 9
By Bao Nguyen
I never realized that time does fly really fast until I found out we only have two classes left and Thanksgiving is in two days. Indeed, this semester is going to the end and it is the time for our team to get all of our tasks done. So far, our Technology and Communications team has practically collaborated with the Marketing Team in most of the events held by GLOBE. Regarding our teamwork, we are working hard to get the V-Log and the business plan done as we prepare for our final presentation.
Taking a look back, I realized that I have learned so many things from GLOBE. It’s amazing to learn about microfinance and I believe that it is going to be very useful for my future career. I will always remember the video of the applicants, the events we did, and all the class lectures we have had. I feel really motivated because of all the amazing things we have done as a class. GLOBE has made a major impact on my life.
Last week, all members of our class went to the GLOBE event and we did a really good job. Nakita had a really good presentation and our team did take a lot of good pictures and videos.
For now, we are done with editing the V-Log of the Marketing Team. It looks really interesting. Besides the V-Log that we will upload to YouTube in order to promote GLOBE, we plan to show to our class a really funny and exciting “Behind the Scenes” video.
Log # 10
By Dana Yang
As the semester comes to an end, with the rehearsal presentations tonight, I am starting to miss it already. Every Tuesday night, three hours, with the same people for three months, is actually a lot and has had a big impact in my St. John’s life. I never thought this class would have such a big impact on me only because, I thought I was just coming in to be an extra helping hand to Dr. Sama to enhance the program. GLOBE has changed my perspective in poverty in developing countries and it has helped me open my eyes to what college students are capable of. I am very proud of my Accounting team and the other teams. We all had to work hard in order for it to be such a successful semester.
After the rehearsal presentations tonight, I can tell that all the hard work paid off, because we all saw the smile in Dr. Sama’s face. We always looked to her to make sure whatever we are doing is fine and seeing that smile, reassured us that we had an amazing semester. It was fun and entertaining to watch the other teams present their achievements throughout the semester and it was great to see everyone pitching in to help others improve upon their presentations.
Next Tuesday is the day for us to shine. Even for today’s rehearsal presentation, my heart was already about to jump out of my chest. I can just imagine how we will feel next week. I’m sure we will all have enough confidence and support for each other to make sure Dr. Sama is proud. We want to make sure that we make the audience more supportive of GLOBE than they already are. I know I will be proud to call myself a former GLOBE student in the future and I can see how GLOBE will flourish in the future. Let’s go GLOBE!
Log # 10
By Gurjeet Kaur
10 weeks! It might sound cliché but these ten weeks with GLOBE have given me a new perspective on life. This has happened because this program is much different from the ones I have previously been in. It gives students a way to learn about international microfinance from sitting in a classroom. From the interview to the final presentation, GLOBE (Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs) has resulted in stronger characters for the students. It is a student-managed class, meaning every member has a part in the process. Every semester the program is improved to have a greater outlook for the upcoming semester.
The Finance and Risk Assessment Team had goals to accomplish from the beginning of the semester. These included: addressing the collateral problem, risk assessment of a new location, measure and evaluate interest rates, give out a loan in a new country, and an analysis of previous loans. The collateral problem relates to the interest comes along with the loans; the four loans we have received back are all repaid but without interest. This poses a concern for GLOBE because our main concern is sustainability. The five percent received back from the loans would be used to offset any costs related to giving out the loans as well as approving new loans. The risk assessment of Madagascar has proven it to be a desirable location for micro financing. A lot of MFI’s have already established themselves in that area and GLOBE would like to enter Madagascar in the near future. The team to create new interest rates that comply with the repayment period for a loan evaluated the current 5% interest rate. For example, a loan given out for 12 months will pay a 3% interest, 18-month will pay 4.5%, and 24-month will pay 6%. This makes it easier for the entrepreneurs to repay the principal with the interest. In this last week, we are in the process of approving a group loan in Vietnam! This is very exciting because this is the first group loan GLOBE will give out and seems to be very promising. As stated before, we have received 4 loans back and the others are in the process. I can proudly say that we have attained these goals throughout the course of these ten weeks!
Although this is a slow process, we definitely see improvement. Giving a better understanding of the world of Microfinance, this program has helped the students help themselves. The students, also known as GLOBE managers, are the backbone of the program thus creating new learning opportunities for themselves. I am a proud member of GLOBE at St. John’s University; this has been an exciting ten weeks of my college years!
Log # 10
By Kemi Bamishe
As I sit here and spill out my thoughts for this log, I can’t believe this will be last one. I can’t believe how fast this semester flew by. I wish this were a year-long program, because I feel like there’s so much more that GLOBE can accomplish. I hope that next semester’s class will pick up where we left off and continue to make accomplishments for GLOBE; for our borrowers.
At the start of the semester, the Marketing & Fundraising Team had so many exciting ideas. We look back on that and realize that those ideas were unrealistic at the time. It took a while for us to find some direction, and here we are at the end of the semester, and I must say that I am proud of where we stand today. GLOBE managed to have two bake sales, a main event, awareness tables at several on and off-campus events, and this Thursday, we will be launching a phone campaign. I am really excited about starting the phone campaign. If we don’t receive any donations as a result of it, at the very least, we hope to raise awareness.
Raising awareness for GLOBE is one of the most fulfilling opportunities that I’ve had throughout my entire college career at St. John’s University. GLOBE is like no other academic program that I have experienced. It is hands-on and most importantly, has an actual effect in the marketplace somewhere in Kenya, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It feels great knowing that interacting with students; faculty; administrators; and business professionals to tell GLOBE’s story, has helped one of our borrowers feed their children, when otherwise, they would not be able to. That truly touches my heart and I am glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of GLOBE’s movement.
Log # 10
By Shana Barnes
I can’t believe this semester is already over. I feel like I have accomplished so much in a short amount of time. GLOBE was such a great experience that I wish was longer than just one semester. There was always an idea that came to mind throughout the semester that I wish I could have done after learning about a specific topic. With such a limited amount of time it was hard to divert from the objectives that my team and I devised the first week of class.
GLOBE is special for three different reasons: Vincentian Fulfillment, Individuality, and Uniqueness.Vincentian Fulfillment: GLOBE is a special hands-on class that helps people help themselves out of poverty. What better way to carry out the Vincentian mission at St. John’s than through a class? It is a great learning experience and a way to give back to those who need it most.
Individuality: It is amazing what young adults like us GLOBE managers can do if professors provide us with the proper guidance and information and leave the rest up to us. Since we make up our own agenda and objectives we can be as creative and open-minded as we want which allows everyone in a group to put their own spin/twist on the subject.Uniqueness: Not many can say that they were a part of an honorable program such as this one. Most schools, if any, do not have a student run class, yet alone about microloans. Only a selected few can take part in this unique adventure. It is all about motivation, the urge, and the want to change the world one loan at a time.
I am honored to say that I was part of GLOBE. This has been one of my best and favorite experiences at St. John’s. I had the chance to work with a great team that was able to accomplish all that was planned while still having fun. As for the books we had to read, it was a great selection because it always grabbed my interest. The fact that it wasn’t a text book made me read even more than I had to. I have acquired a lot of knowledge on the subjects of microfinance and social entrepreneurship. We worked well individually, but most of all, as a class. We were able to increase GLOBE awareness in the St. John’s community.
Lastly, I would like to thank Dr.Sama for the guidance to complete another successful semester. Her encouraging lectures and guest speakers have always moved me in some way. Her passion for the class was an encouragement to be the best we can be. Without her this program would not be what it is today. I am able to take away many things from this class that I can apply in everyday life. I have grown a lot as a person. It allowed me to step outside my comfort zone, be a leader, and taught me how important teamwork really is. GLOBE not only makes a difference, but also is the difference.
By Ruth Santana
The Final Discovery
I believe that this experience has been the most unique and powerful endeavor that I have embarked during my journey as an undergraduate at St. John’s University. This log I would like to dedicate to my team, to the University and to Dr. Sama.
First my team, because with their innovation, hard work and outstanding work ethic; I can say that I was a part of a strong united group that achieved its goals through dedication. They no only motivated me to be a better leader, but they taught many things that have helped me to increase my skills and to understand what a team should look like. Through these weeks I have noted tremendous growth in what we can do and with what little resources we can accomplish great things. Thank you IT for the support, for your belief in me as your liaison and showing our true impressions.
The second dedication is to St. John’s University for being the platform that was needed to make a program like this possible; and because of the trust they had in their faculty to bring this type of experience and opportunity that is unique to our St. John’s community and to their students. Because of the mission of our University, and the hunger of students that attend this University have towards service and academics; GLOBE encompasses the passion of many, but more importantly my passion for giving back and having a chance to make a change through entrepreneurship.
And last but not least, I would like to thank Dr. Sama for her endless dedication, time and motivation that she brings to every class, in every email and especially in every smile. She is the light that guides GLOBE year after year, semester after semester through the struggles and successes of running the business that is GLOBE and teaches us her expertise in microfinance, entrepreneurship, social business and professional development. Without her this program would have never been implemented and she is a blessing to this class, to this University and to wherever she dedicates her time to.
I cannot believe how this semester flew by and how I can still remember the nervousness of expecting the GLOBE acceptance email and how the past GLOBE class presented to us their recommendations in the spring. But along the way I have discovered many important thoughts that I will for always keep with me, and I leave all of these here in this last log and with my final discovery:
Discovery #1: I can change the worldDiscovery #2: I should always think of the bigger pictureDiscovery #3: GLOBE means business to the people that need it the mostDiscovery #4: Time management is key for successDiscovery #5: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”Discovery #6: GLOBE means teamwork!Discovery #7: Learning how to lead, by letting others leadDiscovery #8: I need to motivate not only myself, but also those around meDiscovery #9: Leading the way for the future of GLOBEDiscovery #10: The end… is never the end with GLOBE!
By John Kenny
As students in the Tobin School of Business, the curriculum necessarily taught us the importance of cost-benefit analysis. In doing so, we now know how to project whether or not an endeavor or business decision will lead to a positive outcome for our company, organization, etc.
For example, take GLOBE, one of the premier classes offered in the Tobin School of Business. Why not use a cost-benefit analysis to review the experience we had throughout the semester?
From an educational perspective, GLOBE offered a wealth of knowledge in the exciting and ever-growing field of microfinance. We learned about the problems that make credit so inaccessible for so many people throughout the world, such as the lack of collateral. We learned about social businesses and how they can play a practical role in modern society, and we learned about the rapid growth of poverty mapping in bringing positive change to impoverished lands.
From a team-building perspective, never have I encountered a course which required more team work. It truly created a family atmosphere between each of the teams who needed to meet up often to prepare presentations and perform the practicum portion of the task requirements.
From an experiential perspective, GLOBE distinguishes itself from traditional classroom settings. With sessions at the Microfinance Club of New York events, the Sisters of Notre Dame, and the “Entrepreneurship in a Global World” event, nothing could top these, right? Except maybe meeting the man, the myth, the legend himself, Muhammad Yunus! Furthermore, the act of managing real money and real loans proved to be an even greater hands-on experience than first expected.
The only downfall of GLOBE for the semester was the sugar coma I nearly went into due to the delicious baked goods and sweets offered at our bake sales and events. If, somewhere in the future, it is discovered that I have Type 2 diabetes, I will look back and realize I should I have eaten one less cupcake.
In all seriousness, the GLOBE program contributed to my growth not only as a student but as a human being outside the classroom as well. It expanded my awareness of the world around me. It magnified my perception of the problems of poverty throughout the world, especially the vast amounts of extreme poverty. Most importantly though, it offered effective solutions, through the products and services offered by microfinance, to alleviate or “ease the tension on poverty.” No one claims that microfinance is a panacea for poverty alleviation, but its benefits cannot be undervalued. Helping other people help themselves-that is the microfinance way. Unleashing the human potential innate in everyone, which currently suffocates due to a lack of opportunity, and giving people a chance to succeed-that is the GLOBE way.
By Raias Anthony Khan
This semester has been a fast-paced race all leading to one moment. This is the moment that our university and community get a glimpse of the impact that we are making through GLOBE. Behind the scenes in the doors of DAC room 309 our class as a unit worked tirelessly, motivated by the smiles and the positive impact we know we will make when our “budding entrepreneurs” put their funds to great use. It was Langston Hughes that said, “Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly." GLOBE gives our borrowers the chance to fly.
Our enthusiasm and motivation are products of being pupils of a highly motivated determined leader, Dr. Sama. She has led us through the true meaning and mission of GLOBE and her call to social entrepreneurship. It has been a pleasure working with her and the team on projects and seeing her vision and expectations of the organization and St. John’s University.
I am excited that we finally have considered and are in the process of reviewing group loan. It is something I have wanted personally to see done this semester. That is why we pushed for the write-ups of the loans to be sent to the steering committee this semester. Throughout the past week the team has also finalized the final presentation for the event this Tuesday.
It has been bittersweet looking back at the semester, the contributions we have made and the great times we have spent as a class for GLOBE’s incredible initiatives. However, as the semester ends we will realize that this is just the beginning and not the end of our relationship with GLOBE. I know I will continue to contribute to GLOBE in the years to come. This is because I now know the real meaning of GLOBE’s initiatives. I got to know and understand its founder, its followers, its networks and almost all the entrepreneurs and their stories.
I am therefore thankful that I have had the opportunity to work with a group of such talented and inspired colleagues along the way. It felt good knowing the effort of everyone involved and that they were in it for the success of GLOBE. It felt great throughout the semester telling everyone I knew about GLOBE and the mission and vision of the organization. Now having played a critical role in its development as a team this semester, I will not stop there.