We’ve been making some real progress on the different aspects of our project in recent weeks. Our cap has split up into teams working on 4 different aspects of Belcorp’s social initiatives. Two groups are working to bolster the internal strategy formulation for Belcorp. One is working on a Balanced Score-card that Belcorp can use to better evaluate their internal performance on social and economic lines. The group that I’m part of is working to put together strategic frameworks for Belcorp to use when moving forward with their initiatives to help make the organization a double bottom line company. For those who don’t speak business buzzwords that’s when a company spreads its efforts equally between Financial and Social goals.
Our other two groups are working on developing social programs for Belcorp. One is researching and building a financial literacy program for Belcorp’s consultants, many of whom have little to no understanding of how banking or credit works. Our fourth group is working on a micro-insurance / micro-finance program for Belcorp’s consultants. Their goal is to give the women who make up Belcorp’s sale force more financial independence.
Our class has been very fortunate to have hosted guests from the many different branches of our project. Two members of the World Federation of Direct Sales Associates helped educate our class on the challenges for a direct sales company in the 21st century. Micol Pisteli from the Micro Finance Information Exchange and our own TA Katherine Oglietti who came from the micro-finance industry before starting at GW spoke to our class on different occasions to give us different perspectives on micro-finance and how it can be used in developing nations. And just last week we heard from Leslie Barcus from Micro-finance Opportunities speak to us about the importance of financial education.
You would think with all these guest speakers that we wouldn’t find time to get our work done, but everyone has been so excited at the opportunity to experience the Peruvian culture that we’re all putting in extra group sessions. The goal is to have a pretty strong project put together before any of us land in Lima.