LifeStitch Manufacturing

This past year, Keren Wheeler, an Advisory Board member of UA’s STEM Path to the MBA, introduced us to Mike and Robin Gordon.  Mike, Robin, their son Ty, and others operate the non-profit Shining Light International, whose mission it is to “promote, support and implement; educationtraining and development projects among oppressed, marginalized communities in developing countries.”  A great example of applying business and technology principles to help people lift themselves out of poverty!

A group of STEM Path to the MBA students, led by seniors Ruth Bishop and Logan Holley, are working with Shining Light on one of their projects, LifeStitch Manufacturing.  LifeStitch provides women in rural Pakistan a manufacturing facility where they can learn sewing skills, create apparel and accessories and work with LifeStitch to sell their creations and supplement their families’ incomes.  The UA students’ goal is to assist LifeStitch by helping make improvements to their business model and processes.

In the coming year, the UA students hope to partner with a university in Pakistan to do even more for the people Shining Light serves in rural Pakistan.  Stay tuned!

BEST S2P Links

1. The impact of poverty on the development of the young brain. Hat tip to D1.

2. Economics, social mobility, and the role of education.

3. Finnish entrepreneurs innovating in rural India.  Hat tip to Geoff Goeters.

4. The Gates Foundation as Philanthrocapitalist in global health.

5. Boda boda ambulances in Uganda.

6. 2014 Global Health survey indicates rise in diabetes, cancer in developing world.

Welcome to BEST Solutions to Poverty!

Greetings! Next month, a group of 14 students from the University of Alabama’s STEM Path to the MBA program will be traveling with me to India for a reverse innovation project. The students, inspired by Dr. Vijay Govindarajan’s work on innovation in the developing world, convinced me to launch this study abroad trip and we are very much looking forward to it.

This blog came about as an outlet for sharing our experiences not only on this particular trip, but to provide anyone interested in solutions to poverty with insights from a particular perspective: the idea that the best, most sustainable solutions to poverty are those that use BUSINESS as a multiplier of the positive impact of ENGINEERING, SCIENCE, and TECHNOLOGY (hence BEST) on individuals’ opportunities to escape from poverty.