Bill Gates: Mechai Viravaidya, Hero in the Field

The social entrepreneur who inspired the Barefoot MBA, Mechai Viravaidya, is the subject of a new blog post by Bill Gates. Mechai’s work has had a lasting effect in Thailand and beyond, and we’re pleased to see his name in mainstream U.S. sources. Of course, we don’t need Bill Gates to tell us Mechai is […]

2018

Happy new year from the Barefoot MBA! 2017 marked our tenth anniversary, an important milestone to reflect on how far we’ve come in a decade. (See below.) It gives us great joy to know the Barefoot MBA is now nearly self-sustaining. It gives us almost as much joy to know how it’s being used. Please […]

Tenth anniversary

This week marks the tenth anniversary of our first Barefoot MBA pilot. A lot can change in ten years – progress, priorities, partnerships. And a lot can stay the same. In addition we still need help, especially with this site, partnership ideas and adaptation opportunities. Here’s what’s changed: Progress: When we boarded a plane to […]

2017

Happy new year! Ten years ago this week the seed for the Barefoot MBA was planted. Though our updates to have been less frequent, our mission continues. As always, we welcome updates on how you’ve used or hope to use our materials. If you’d like to help, or know someone who might, please e-mail us […]

Fifth anniversary

Five years ago this week we piloted the Barefoot MBA with villagers near Lamplaimat, Thailand. The world has seen plenty of progress since then: Five Nobel Peace Prize winners. Two new countries. The birth of the world’s seven billionth baby. The Barefoot MBA has seen plenty of progress since then too: eight published adaptations in […]

2011 in review

Happy new year. This January update is our fifth since the Barefoot MBA became an idea to teach basic business to anyone, anywhere. That idea quickly became a curriculum, and that curriculum continues to touch every inhabited continent. Thanks largely to our partner organizations, we’ve reached tens of thousands of participants. And our numbers continue […]

Fourth anniversary

Four years ago this month we first piloted the Barefoot MBA. Since then we’ve expanded from 1 country to 12 (that we know of), 2 creators to countless partners and volunteers. We’ve reached people on every inhabited continent, including thousands of participants. Some of their stories are below; many don’t reach us. And we’re still […]

2010 in review

Four years ago this week we conceived of the Barefoot MBA idea, determined to create a workable curriculum for the Thai social enterprise that inspired our work and wondering aloud what our creation would look like in Africa, where we saw indisputable need but no opportunity to make it there. In 2010, we made it […]

Staggering growth in the Philippines

Our partner in the Philippines, the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), reports tremendous progress. From March to August, it rolled out the Barefoot MBA to up to 21,590 clients, about half of whom have attended at least two modified modules in their centers. NWTF plans additional roll out next year. It’s hard to believe […]

More progress in the Philippines: “The program is working!”

Our partners in the Philippines, the Global Initiative to Advance Entrepreneurship (GIVE) and the Inner-City Development Corporation (ICDC), report that the Barefoot MBA has reached 1,700 microloan recipients — and that 40% of those have increased their savings. They extol the modular nature of the Barefoot MBA as critical to their progress, especially as circumstances […]

Third anniversary

This month marks the third anniversary of our first pilot — and an opportunity to summarize and share our progress in the last year: Completed adaptations: We’ve worked with partners in the Philippines and Rhode Island to adapt the Barefoot MBA and develop multi-day workshops. In both places, the Barefoot MBA has extended beyond the […]

Update from the Philippines

We caught up with one of our partners in the Philippines, the Global Initiative to adVance Entrepreneurship (GIVE), which shared progress there and in Cambodia. In the Philippines, GIVE and the Inner City Development Corporation (ICDC), one of the participating organizations in last year’s train-the-trainers workshop, have set up an entrepreneurship center in Manila that […]

Second partner in India

We’re tickled when partners come to us with applications and adaptations of the Barefoot MBA. This time, our newest partner is the Anudip Foundation, an NGO that provides livelihood opportunities for marginalized rural communities in India. Jessica, an American India Foundation Clinton Fellow, is using the Barefoot MBA for a micro-entrepreneurship development program. She wrote: […]

2009 in review

Three years ago this week, the Barefoot MBA began as but an idea. Since then we’ve come a long way. 2009 in review: First U.S. adaptation, by the Capital Good Fund in Rhode Island, whose version is also the first “green” adaptation, supporting the growing concern for and awareness of environmental impact of human activities […]