The nationally-ranked, award-winning Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) Program helps undergraduate Foster School students hone the competitive edge they need to succeed in global business. The CISB programs promotes a global mindset that leads to global employment opportunities by requiring international business coursework, study abroad, foreign language immersion, area studies coursework, and resources about global career pathways. In the last academic year, CISB students participated in several activities outside the classroom to make them better equipped to compete in the global business workforce.
In addition to academic coursework and language studies, CISB primes students with informational career panels about global business. In Fall 2013, CISB students attended an International Business Panel which featured professionals with established global business careers at Starbucks, Wells Fargo Bank, Slalom Consulting, and Port of Seattle. The panel provided insight into the realities of an international career and inspiring advice to those entering the workforce. CISB also hosted an Alumni career panel in which 12 CISB alumni shared how their CISB experiences helped shape and further their career. The panelists provided job search advice and examples of a typical day in their position.
CISB students also get hands on experience in networking for a global career. In spring quarter, over 100 CISB students participated in a “Speed Networking” event. In small teams, the students practiced their networking skills on global business executives. The executives included the Assistant Corporate Controller from Microsoft, theVP of Global Client Reporting from BlackRock and theInternational Buyer from Costco. Primed with their global business education and career pathways insight, the CISB students could then practice the art of networking for their career.
But results speak louder than any of these events. Sam Bokor, VP Training and Personnel Development at Expeditors International stated that “CISB students are a a good fit for Expeditors because of their passion for the international trade community and their curiosity around other cultures.” Visit our CISB Alumni highlights to see the array of global careers secured by CISB graduates.
At the heart of Fulcrum’s values are our people. Our staff is our key asset, and our people are one of the most important things our company can invest in. This is the message driven home by the instructors of the six-week Business Certificate Program here in Yakima. Instilling trust and developing our staff, and how we lead teams or promote teams from behind, is very critical to our business success.
Fulcrum Environmental Consulting consists of nine staff based out of our Yakima office and seven in our Spokane location. Our objective as managers is not to pit one of our offices against the other; rather, we term our company as a team to encourage performance. It’s us as an organization that is successful as we service our clients, as we try to provide answers to a school district who is experiencing flooding issues, or to a client who is just embarking on a construction project and realizes that they have all the wrong materials. We are about solving problems, and we achieve success as a team. Our team is developed to go out and solve these problems together. So, as you look at your staff, this is one of main ideas I encourage you to take away from this course. Success is about building your team to solve your clients’ needs more effectively.
The Business Certificate Program has provided us with the fundamentals and methodologies to unlock our company’s potential. For instance, our Board of Directors met recently to discuss our service area’s needs. One of the services Fulcrum offers is testing paint for the presence of lead—a serious health issue, especially for small children whose cognitive development can be severely harmed by lead poisoning. A new technology has been developed to assist in detecting lead paint, and we knew that investing in this technology was vital. Knowing we would need to spend about $20,000 in equipment costs and another $20,000 in training expenses, we reviewed the fundamental tools in the decision making process the instructors of this program taught us. Tools such as anchoring and framing our biases, helped us position our arguments on whether we needed to purchase this technology based on what are competitors are doing and what we could lose if we did not invest in this market. We conducted a financial analysis on this technology purchase to ensure it was a viable and profitable decision for our company, comparing cost vs. lease perspectives and even discussed abandoning the service area. Following our decision, we began to examine the ways in which we could improve our marketing plan to reach our target market and differentiate ourselves from our competition.
The Business Certificate Program is not only for business owners. The program can provide the management skills your staff needs to achieve your company’s growing goals. I am the sixth person from Fulcrum to attend the UW Business Certificate Program, and access to this type of continuing education will be the key to our company’s success.
GSEC 2013 welcomes 14 semi-finalist teams – representing 9 countries and 12 universities – to Seattle for this year’s high-powered GSEC from February 25 – March 1. Teams were selected from an applicant pool of 91 applicants from 67 Universities in 29 countries.
All 14 teams competed in semi-finals – congratulations to the six finalist teams: BreatheSuite, Coffee Promo Co., Eco-Chula, Jorsey Ashbel Farms, LifeChair and Social Cops. You can watch the video of six finalist teams’ presentations here and read more about the winners here.
AquaFiltro – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
AquaFiltro provides household drinking water treatment techniques in Ghana by developing two types of water treatment products, a basic model ceramic filter and a deluxe model ceramic filter. The filters consist of plastic containers and ceramic filter element. The deluxe model differentiates by user-friendliness, aesthetics, and durability. Both filters are effective at helping household water meet the drinking water standard.
BreatheSuite uses two different technologies, SpiroSmart and CoughSense, to measure lung function and cough frequency, respectively. The company will partner with a number of for-profit and non-profit organizations to magnify the technology’s impact and reach people in both developed and developing markets. View their final presentation. Coffee Promo Co. - National University of Rwanda, Rwanda
Our objectives are promoting sustainable coffee farming in rural areas, as well as making Rwanda coffee producers earn more and be less affected by price fluctuations. The idea of building a coffee washing station and training coffee growers aims to increase the added value on coffee for sale to the developed world. View their final presentation.
Disease Diagnostic Group uses the low-cost Rapid Assessment of Malaria (RAM) device to provide a handheld diagnosis for malaria in one minute by taking a drop of blood from a fingertip. The RAM device has potential to become the universal method of malaria diagnosis and eventually lead the way to the eradication of the disease.
Indoor air pollution is the single largest environmental risk factor for female mortality in the developing world. Eco-Chula uses an integrated approach to combat this problem by providing an affordable, efficient cooking solution powered by compressed bio-gas. The venture raises awareness among people, trains them, creates job opportunities, and offers cash discounts and installment payment on product purchase. View their final presentation.
Eccolizer seeks to solve the food insecurity of 64 million extremely poor people residing in Bangladesh by augmenting agricultural yields and providing employment opportunity with the help of an economically cheap & ecologically friendly bio-fertilizer that can also be used as insecticide and pesticide.
FastTrack House is an initiative to bring innovation in the housing infrastructure sector through a low cost & fast track housing solution, thereby improving the lives of slum-dwellers & disaster-affected people. They have developed a technology for making aggregates out of demolition waste or debris to form interlocking concrete blocks to construct a low cost, quality, eco-friendly house in only 7 days.
FreedomLens – Florida International University, United States
FreedomLens is an innovative, affordable pair of eye glasses that allow people with severe vision impairment or blindness to hear the text in books, newspapers, menus, product packages and signs in a multitude of languages. Using proprietary and open source technology, FreedomLens, enables blind people to acquire knowledge, navigate directions and earn a living. FreedomLens will provide the blind with access to resources and opportunities, gain independence to ultimately improve their quality of life.
Jorsey Ashbel Farms (JAF) – National Open University of Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
Jorsey Ashbel Farm (JAF) tells of how an unconventional livestock farm is pioneering a ground-breaking approach to tackling the poverty problem of Protein-Energy Malnutrition affecting millions of disadvantaged children and women. JAF produces Nigeria’s Cheapest Livestock Products using a new, scientifically-proven low-cost livestock feeds production technique combined with an innovative deployment strategy.
LifeChair – University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
LifeChair offers a cheaper, bamboo based wheelchair with greater features than a traditional wheelchair to give medical mobility aid for physically disabled and financial challenged people residing in Bangladesh. LifeChair aims to increase affordability, accessibility, and awareness within the target population. View their final presentation.
Saral KONNECT is an impact leveraging unit that levers the efforts of social enterprises and other mission driven set ups to help them scale and sustain as they approach relatively ‘foreign’ rural landscape and to create measurable impact by offering them project sites, primary field research, HR and operational support.
Shwari Biofuel Solutions Limited shall endeavor to produce eco-friendly biofuel to home owners and institutions in rural areas and slums, by providing the best products and services and continuously improving on the technology, tools and techniques employed.
Social Cops – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Social Cops is an open web & mobile Platform where citizens, councils, NGOs & corporations come together to solve civic issues ranging from uncleared garbage, potholes on the road, leaking drainages & dangerous electric poles. SocialCops@Citizens allows citizens to easily report their civic issues via the Internet and Smart Phones. SocialCops@Councils is a customizable dashboard that allows the relevant administrative authorities to track and monitor complaints raised by citizens. View their final presentation.
Vendi is a social venture that aims to eliminate the intermediaries and sell vegetables at a reasonable price after procuring them directly from farmers. The organization addresses multiple social problems such as exploitation of vegetable farmers and consumers; deteriorating quality of vegetables through the addition of excessive pesticides, high wastage due to lack of proper care, and lack of access to high nutrition food for the urban people.
Watch the slideshow below for pictures from the event.
*This post has been updated with information regarding the winners and a photo slideshow*
GSEC 2012 welcomed 16 semi-finalist teams representing more than 10 countries to Seattle. Teams were selected from an applicant pool of 170 submissions from student teams in 49 countries. Learn about the winning teams from the 2012 Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition.
Aashar Ful, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Aashar Ful provides an eco-friendly solution to extreme shoelessness by supplying poor children with shoes made from an abundant and underutilized plant, the water hyacinth, and engages poor rural women in supply chain and production process.
Astraz, University of Washington, USA
Astraz uses technology to optimize information flow within developing country supply chain and distribution systems. FoneAstra is a device that uses sensory and cellular technologies to monitor temperatures in the cold chain and diagnose problems in the system as they occur, enabling timely intervention to prevent the loss of vaccines due to temperature deviations, resulting in a higher number of vaccines available for administration to the 2.4 million children who die from preventable diseases each year.
Bloorx!, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
Bloorx seeks to expand the career and educational opportunities of Nigerian students by providing them with relevant and timely information about local and international opportunities that they are eligible for. By offering free services that meet the deepest needs of Nigerian students Bloorx will make significant social impact and by offering premium services to organizations Bloorx will be a profitable, scalable and sustainable venture.
Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering, Dartmouth College, USA
DHE brings renewable electricity to rural Rwanda with low-cost, small-scale hydro-power installations. DHE’s innovative battery-charging model allows it to reach scattered populations at an affordable price.
EYEChina, University of Oklahoma, USA
Solving the problem of curable blindness in Sichuan Province, China through affordable and accessible cataract surgery through an innovative network of provincial hospitals, global non-profits, and local surgeons. By incentivizing local physicians to focus their training and work on this important rural issue, it provides access to affordable care delivered by surgeons trained specifically to perform large quantities of quality cataract surgeries. Additionally, the EYEChina model treats many of the underlying causes of cataract blindness through patient-focused education combined with widespread marketing.
Green Fuel, Kyambogo University, Uganda
This business is about utilizing rubbish as an alternative to charcoal for sustainable energy, to save the forests in Uganda while enabling income generation for poor communities. The resources and money saved on deforestation for firewood will now be invested in training people on tree planting and conserving nature, allowing investments for citizens to work and earn income for their families instead of working cutting down trees for charcoal.
Greenovation Technologies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
We provide the marginally poor and homeless with affordable, secured, eco-acceptable, and long-lasting housing because we believe that proper housing leads to better earning and education opportunities which lead to greater well-being. Our unique product has low production costs and superior properties compared to its nearest alternatives, making it the ideal candidate for solving the global issue of 3 billion people being homeless all around the world.
Hakizamungu, National University of Rwanda, Rwanda
The business promotes bee keeping and honey production in order to further honey for sustainable development in the rural areas of Eastern Rwanda. The company will help indigenous bee farmer by introducing a technological method of honey processing, and providing training about the honey processor and manufacturing process.
Jola Venture, Northeastern University, USA
Jola venture seeks to improve agriculture production in Cameroon through its patented solar food dehydrator innovation. Our solar food dehydrator is an effective, low-cost provider of a solution to food spoilage that is common among most developing nations. The Solar-POD extends the shelf lives of perishable food items, giving users a simple and cost effective means of food preservation. Our business model incorporates a sustainable and micro entrepreneurship empowerment act that will greatly improve the socioeconomic standards of the target population.
Project Akshar, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, India
Project Akshar provides deaf women with an entrepreneurial opportunity that enables them to generate income through book binding skills that are imparted to them. The business creates entrepreneurial opportunities for a community in need (currently hearing impaired women) by reusing paper to manufacture environment friendly notebooks and at the same time providing children in rural areas with affordable educational aides.
Ruby Cup, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Ruby Cup is a menstrual cup, which is an alternative menstrual hygiene product made of medical grade silicone that can be re-used up to 10 years. Rather than absorbing the menstrual fluid like disposable products, Ruby Cup collects it during the period. It is emptied, washed and boiled between periods. Ruby Cup will begin in Kenya.
SasaAfrica, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA & University of Nairobi, Kenya
SasaAfrica offers an innovative and independent platform for female artisans and entrepreneurs in Africa to create micro-enterprises, connecting developing world vendors to global e-commerce, even if they do not have access to the Internet, a computer, or a bank account, reaching even the most remote communities of entrepreneurs. Focused on promoting under-served communities, SasaAfrica aims to shorten the distance between vendors in developing nations and the global marketplace by integrating MMS uploads, SMS notifications, and mobile money payments with an e-commerce storefront.
Segito Technologies, Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (Victoria Jubilee Tech Inst.), India
The Segito business model provides assistive educational technologies for blind people which can reduce illiteracy rates, increase potential for employment and create employment opportunities for blind people. We have developed a patent-pending multifunctional educational device that enables blind people to educate themselves independently in absence of skilled teacher. It is an urgent need in developing countries due to decreasing number of Braille teachers.
Seraab, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan
Seraab sells cost-effective irrigation water to the small farmers of rural Punjab on an hourly basis through the existing water distribution system (the Wari system) using solar tube wells to extract the ground water. By installing and operating solar-powered tube wells to extract ground water and ensuring year round water availability, Seraab increases a small farmer’s revenue and reduces their water procurement cost.
Srujna, Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, India
Srujna creates sustainable social and financial impact in the lives of rescued victims of human trafficking though market-led vocational training programs, such as making jewelry, for rescued victims of human trafficking, thereby empowering them to be independent and self-reliant. Artisans will help in manufacturing jewelry.and the sale of this jewelry will ultimately help in making the organization sustainable.
Toilet+, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Toilet+ aims to bring poor villagers in Bangladesh safe sanitation coverage by availing microcredit assistance, and providing economic incentive to use toilets. It also creates local entrepreneurship by training local unemployed youth to produce organic fertilizer from waste. Simultaneously, by contributing to meet the high demand of fertilizer in the rural market, it will benefit the poor farmers and create a stable income source for the entrepreneurs.
Vela Chas Inc. (VCI), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Vela Chas Inc. (VCI), aims to reduce the severe unemployment problem in the coastal areas of Bangladesh through engaging the poor people in cultivating vegetables in the floating farmland made with water-hyacinth. Making floating water-hyacinth farmland possesses some unique advantages: provides affordable fresh food in coastal regions; expands the market for selling the agricultural products in cities; uses no fertilizer; reduces the unemployment problem through engaging the poor people in cultivation and helping them become self-reliant.
Watch the slideshow for pictures of the 2012 Trade Show below:
*This post has been updated with information regarding the winners and a photo slideshow*
Black Bengal Meats Company: A just not for profit social business targeted towards providing nutrition and employment at the Base of the Pyramid in Bangladesh. Black Bengal Meats Company will use rural poor to generate low cost goat meat to sell to the urban poor. University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Hamara – Free Sanitation Facilities for Rural India: Hamara’s goal is to improve community health and fostering economic growth in rural India by providing free hygienic sanitation while making available the same product offerings and purchasing opportunity as in cities to rural populations. Revenue generation will be mainly through sale of advertising space and advertiser products. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Innovative rabbit breeding: The production of affordable, high-quality rabbit meat on efficiently managed mini-farms. The innovative business model maximizes farmland use and output, provides employment opportunities, and produces hormone/pesticide free rabbit products. Sumy State University, Sumy, Ukraine
LIFT Investments: Improves the lives of the working poor and provides investment capital to high-potential businesses in Africa. Profits+ aims to provide working poor with part-time education programs that create access to higher paying jobs. The programs are financed by capital invested in the businesses that employ the low-paid workers; profits generated from this investment fund the programs. Columbia University, New York, U.S Watch Final Presentation video
Low-Cost Electronic Health Records Can Improve Prenatal Care in Peru: EHR Peru will implement low-cost electronic health records in regional clinics serving impoverished women and with time among a larger population of pregnant women. Use of electronic records is expected to significantly improve accuracy and quality of maternal health care by reducing antenatal morbidity and improving clinic efficiency. Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru & University of Washington, Seattle, WA, U.S.
NextDrop: Leverages the recent proliferation of mobile phones in India to provide households with accurate and timely information about water delivery that reduces the time waiting for water and will enable better rationing of stored water supplies. NextDrop sources this information from the water consumers by providing incentives in the form of micropayments. University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, U.S Watch Final Presentation video.
Omnihaler – The Inhaler to the Poor: Asthma is a severe global problem with very high morbidity and mortality rate, medication of which is very costly to avail for the poor. To ensure affordable asthma medication among the poor segment, Omnihaler Inc. introduces an inexpensive inhaler in Bangladesh, prepared from dhatura, a locally abundant phytomedicinal plant. University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
One4OneIT: E-power promises to develop skills of unemployed youths and create employment for them through online outsourcing jobs and work platforms. University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Online PayStation: To extend the benefit of online bargain shopping to the world’s poor by accepting cash. Our vision is to increase the accessibility and purchasing power of low income communities worldwide by establishing a network of pay stations that will provide savings on and online access to items such as school books, food, medicines, and water. University of Washington, Seattle, WA, U.S.
POCiT: is a nonprofit business with the mission of creating accessible medical technologies for use at the point of care in developing nations. We envision the development of accurate, affordable, user-friendly, and mobile medical solutions that transform the landscape of point of- care diagnostics by providing the potential to reach millions of patients. University of Washington, Seattle, WA, U.S. Watch Final Round Presentation video
Sanergy: Sanergy produces electricity and fertilizer through providing safe, affordable sanitation across the slums of Kenya. In these areas with no infrastructure and limited resources, we are pioneering a model providing sustainable sanitation services by combining low-cost technology developed at MIT with an innovative deployment strategy. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, U.S Watch Final Round Presentation video
Tilapiana: To create, manage, and scale sustainable micro fish farming ecosystems in the developing world to close nutritional gaps and leverage local production and distribution. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.
Wello – A Simple Design Can Change the World: Wello aims to improve global access to water and reduce the physical and time burdens of water collection by manufacturing and distributing a water transportation tool, the WaterWheel. Our innovative Business in a Barrel model enables our customers to improve their economic status while improving the health of their communities. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, U.S. Watch Final Round Presentation video
View photos from the trade show below:
- Faculty perspectives, alumni happenings, student experiences, Seattle and Pacific Northwest community connections, and a taste of life around the Foster School.