Today, I write to you from Dakar where I am conducting feasibility research on cold chain solutions for agro-pastoralists as part of my Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) fellowship.
My placement, which is with my own social enterprise initiative, Frigrifique, focuses on herders who find themselves with shrinking herds in drought-prone regions highly disconnected from consumer markets. I’m working hard towards a solution for these increasingly marginalized herders in the Senegalese value chain.
I served in Peace Corps Liberia and Peace Corps Comoros before coming to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. I knew I wanted to continue working with stakeholders at the bottom of the pyramid and getting my MA in International Development seemed the logical choice. Like many others in my cohort, I decided to tack-on the MBA almost as an afterthought.
That afterthought has shaped who I am today more than I could possibly have predicted. Through FMS and other social impact opportunities, I learned about the nexus of development/business and how entrepreneurs could shape lasting, meaningful change for themselves, their beneficiaries, and their investors. My FMS training helped me understand what skills and resources start-ups need to succeed in frontier markets. Ultimately, my training gave me the confidence to start a social enterprise that I developed at the Institute.
Thanks in no small part to FMS, I am proud to call myself a frontier market entrepreneur.