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Teaching people how to create something from nothing, driven by their own vision, fueled by their own abilities and determination has always been a part of what Thunderbird does. We have been teaching people how to bootstrap at Thunderbird long before it became a part of business vocabulary. We’ve done it, because in many emerging markets entrepreneurship is one of the few ways people can lift themselves out of poverty.
In 2004, Thunderbird formalized this by creating a unit called Thunderbird for Good. It began as program designed to provide learning opportunities for women in Afghanistan who were hungry for knowledge and opportunity. Today, this outreach has spread to include non-traditional students from emerging markets all over the world. As our menu of on-site and on-location and online programs has grown, so has Thunderbird’s list of funding partners, mentors and faculty.
Starting and growing a company takes courage anywhere. But the challenges are multiplied for men and women at the base of the pyramid in emerging markets such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Peru and Pakistan and even in the inner cities and Native American communities of the United States. Aspiring entrepreneurs in these countries and communities have passion and tenacity, but too often they often lack knowledge to write business plans, manage cash flow and market their enterprises.
Thunderbird for Good works to tear down the barriers to entrepreneurship through management education programs that support nontraditional students who lack access to top quality training.
An initiative that began with women in emerging markets has spread, and today includes men and women around the globe who are generating outcomes that create sustainable prosperity worldwide. More than 120,000 graduates of these programs across 60+ countries– sponsored by corporate partners, delivered by Thunderbird faculty, and often supported by Thunderbird alumni who live and work in these underserved markets -- create jobs, share knowledge and improve living conditions in their communities.
It is a program that changes lives and in so doing, changes the world – for good.
Thunderbird for Good partners include our mentors, sponsors and volunteers all over the world. We also develop key partnerships with business, government and nonprofit organizations. These partners include:
Kellie Kreiser '04
Cindy Yeager '08
Wynona Heim '08
Katherine Zuga '04
Katherine Zuga manages the North American DreamBuilder program, an online business training program, and Project DreamCatcher, an on-campus program for Native American women entrepreneurs. She is a 2004 Thunderbird graduate and has a Bachelor of Science in International Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
Derek Shaw '16
Derek Shaw manages programs for the Middle East and Central Asia regions including PROMOTE: Women in the Economy, and supports Project Artemis, and DreamBuilder. He is a 2016 Master of Business Administration graduate from Thunderbird School of Global Management and holds an interdisciplinary Bachelors degree in Education and Communication from Arizona State University.
Pamela Strowman supports the Thunderbird for Good office. She has an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Secretarial from Bay State Junior College of Business in Boston, Massachusetts.
"Every minute at Thunderbird taught me something new. I wish to pass on this knowledge to other women so they can benefit from it just as much as I did."
2011 Project Artemis Pakistan fellow and owner of 360M in Karachi