EXCO 104 (Spring 2010): Microenterprise Development Lab - How the Poor Run Their Businesses

When: Thursdays, from 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Dates: 1/28/10 through 4/22/10
Where: Goizueta Business School at Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
Instructor: Andrew K. Stein MBA '11.

Course Description:

The goal of microenterprise development is to help close the business skill gap faced by poor entrepreneurs.

Imagine a small village in Guatemala, India, or Tanzania. Most of the poor residents run their own business - such as a small store, a basic repair service, or the making and selling of textiles. Talk with these microentrepreneurs and you'll hear a strong desire for the basic tips and tricks of business -- about, say, managing inventory or marketing. We know so much about what makes for good business, and yet billions would love to have this knowledge.

If you're a business student, think about it as a business problem. If you study public health, it's an access problem. If your bent is toward justice, it's an equality and rights problem. No matter your approach, Microenterprise Development Lab is about understanding the clear need. In this course, we work to (1) identify, (2) simplify, and perhaps (3) disseminate the key business principles most relevant to microentrepreneurs.

Here are some topics we cover:
- The Microenterprise Development Ecosystem - The organizations doing microenterprise development
- Microenterprise Operations - How microentrepreneurs source, market, and sell products
- Instruction - How the Peace Corps and CARE teach business literacy