February 8, 2012 — Students from Thunderbird School of Global Management’s Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) have arrived in Mexico City and Lima to consult with two different organizations- one a national agriculture firm and the other a group that helps neglected and abused children. The MBA consultants will spend five weeks independently in the field working directly with the organizations to diagnose problems and identify opportunities for each to strengthen their capacity and reach.
In Peru, the students will develop marketing strategies for Acurio Restaurantes and ANPE (La Asociación Nacional de Productores Ecológicos del Perú), to improve sales, develop direct client relationships with restaurants and create a market for specialty native produce. ANPE is an organization of more than 12,000 producers from 22 regions of across Peru, and this project is part of an effort to implement social enterprise practices industry-wide.
In Mexico City, the student consultants will investigate the acquisition of a commercial venture where profits can be used to finance operating costs for Casa Hovde, a home for street children and orphans. The house is run by the Hovde Foundation, a Washington, D.C. based NGO that builds transitional homes around the world which provide shelter and supportive services for homeless youth. This is the first TEM Lab project to take place in Mexico.
“TEM Lab provides our client organizations with the cumulative knowledge, business acumen, commitment and creativity of a team of top-notch MBA candidates,” said Thunderbird professor Dr. Michael Finney, who leads the TEM Lab program. “It is an opportunity for students to differentiate their educational experience with real-world experience in emerging markets where economic growth is strong and where other executives might fail.”
TEM Lab is a capstone honors course offering students an opportunity to apply the full range of professional skills they have acquired during their studies. Now in its third year, TEM Lab teams have worked with businesses in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe.
Both teams will be blogging about their experiences throughout the duration of their projects at: http://knowledgenetwork.thunderbird.edu/research/temlab