Barefoot MBA

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 original training group: In the Philippines alone, it’s on track to exceed 3,000 recipients
  • Adaptations in progress: We’re working with partners in Kenya, Nigeria, Nicaragua and India to adapt the Barefoot MBA to local specifications. In addition, a partner from our Philippines workshop hopes to run a similar training in Cambodia
  • Expert advice: We regularly share advice and input for complementary work. This winter, our input was included in a Columbia Business School team’s report on mobile learning for Frogtek
  • New partnerships: We are exploring partnerships in China, Rwanda and a U.S.-based organization that works on three continents. We are eager for new partnerships, especially in geographies we have not yet touched
  • Press coverage: The Brown Daily Herald covered the Barefoot MBA’s partnership in Rhode Island. Echoing Green and a Brown newsletter profiled Katherine’s Barefoot MBA experience
  • Videos: We’ve (finally!) posted videos that the Stanford GSB created when the Barefoot MBA was in its infancy

As always, that’s just what we know. Our social media efforts on Facebook (become a fan!) and Twitter have expanded our reach to new people and places. Our blog-turned-website continues to get hits from every inhabited continent, and we continue to hear second- and third-hand of others adapting the Barefoot MBA to their needs.

We look forward to another year of progress ahead — and, as always, to your continued support and feedback.


Rhode Island workshop update
April 9, 2010, 8:09 am
Filed under: Blog, Rhode Island

The Capital Good Fund‘s workshop has been postponed while the staff identifies an appropriate group of participants. In the meantime, I caught up with our partners in Providence on their progress on other fronts, including a recent trip to Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, additional loans and plans to scale their model nationwide. We look forward to CGF’s continued progress and to returning to Providence to see the Barefoot MBA in action.

Second Rhode Island workshop
March 8, 2010, 5:44 am
Filed under: Blog, Rhode Island

The Capital Good Fund, our partner in Providence, R.I., will start its second Business Basics Workshop next weekend. For several hours on five consecutive Saturday afternoons, CGF will teach an adapted version of the Barefoot MBA, in Spanish, to borrowers and other early-stage entrepreneurs. CGF successfully completed its first workshop late last year.

2009 in review
January 1, 2010, 11:08 am
Filed under: Asia, Blog, Cambodia, Guatemala, India, Latin America, Philippines, Rhode Island, Thailand

Three years ago this week, the Barefoot MBA began as but an idea. Since then we’ve come a long way.

2009 in review:

And in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, some for the Barefoot MBA:

  • Expand to other countries and continents, notably Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East
  • Solidify presence in existing geographies, including the United States
  • Update our website (we’re trying! can you help?)
  • Measure results of existing adaptations, especially in Thailand and the Philippines

Happy new year!

Successful Rhode Island workshop
December 21, 2009, 3:41 am
Filed under: Blog, Rhode Island

The Capital Good Fund, our partner in Rhode Island, successfully finished its first business training workshop, a five-session course for prospective loan recipients and other business owners. All participants said they’d recommend the course to a friend, and nearly all said they’d be interested in an advanced course.

Capital Good Fund workshop participants with their graduation certificates and staff

The Capital Good Fund has taken participants’ feedback to heart: come February, The Barefoot MBA adaptation will become a level one course as it develops a level two for more advanced entrepreneurs ready to complete a formal business plan.

Rhode Island implementation
November 14, 2009, 11:51 pm
Filed under: Blog, Rhode Island

We’ve worked with the Capital Good Fund, a non-profit microlender based in Providence, R.I., to adapt the Barefoot MBA for immigrants and other prospective borrowers. Capital Good’s five-session weekly workshop, taught in Spanish, teaches several of the Barefoot MBA’s lessons (e.g., saving, profit, marketing, cost-benefit analysis) and reinforces concepts with activities just as we did in Thailand. Capital Good’s adaptation incorporates green elements, consistent with its mission to “create a poverty-free, inclusive green economy through innovative microfinance.”

The workshops have been successful so far. Our partners at Capital Good Fund are at 14 participants and counting, and they continue to refine the workshops each week.

They write:

The first two workshops have been tremendous successes!  People have loved the simplicity of the lessons, and the activities that we came up with have really proved helpful to people. … Thanks so much–we are really thrilled with how this has been going!!

We’re thrilled too — and look forward to sharing continued success.

Brown Daily Herald
October 1, 2009, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Blog, Rhode Island

Today’s Brown Daily Herald covers the Barefoot MBA and its emerging adaptation with the Capital Good Fund in Providence, Rhode Island.