The New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Office of Global Engagement seeks $70,000 to initiate a new annual program called NYIT Launch. This program is a 3-credit undergraduate level course offered for free to qualified nongovernmental organizations (NGO) allowing eight NYIT students to spend two weeks in a foreign country working with the local NGO. The students will use their small business and entrepreneurial skills in a hands-on setting as they encounter the chaos unpredictability and uncertainty of how a startup actually works. By conducting this program in a foreign country NYIT Launch will provide experiential learning for the students, valued assistance to disadvantaged populations in other countries, and global visibility for NYIT as outlined in NYIT’s Vision for 2030.
The first NYIT Launch program will take place August 14-25, 2017 in Moshi, Tanzania. Working with Excel Education Foundation (EEF), a local Tanzanian NGO, the students and accompanying NYIT faculty will work with a group of approximately 20 women to establish a shop in Moshi Town to sell their sewing and jewelry crafts. These women, organized as Women Helping Women, are the sole support and caregivers for their families and have worked together to master sewing and jewelry making skills. Their products have been sold from time to time in New York and other US cities by volunteers who have brought the items home with them. The women have established a bank account in Moshi Town and the next step in their development is to establish an ongoing business and shop in Moshi Town. In addition, while in Moshi, the directors of EEF will connect the NYIT Executive Director of Global Engagement with others in the Tanzanian education system at both secondary and college levels.