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The unique Frontier Market Scouts® program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies has won the Ashoka U - Cordes Innovation Award, given to innovative university programs focused on promoting social entrepreneurship.

The award is one of six given by Ashoka U after a review of 130 nominations, with the winners scheduled to be presented to the 650 attendees of the annual Ashoka U Exchange conference at the University of San Diego on February 21-23. In partnership with the Cordes Foundation, Ashoka U recognizes globally relevant teaching, learning, and partnership practices, focusing on practices that may be adapted and replicated.

The Frontier Market Scouts (FMS)® program at the Monterey Institute serves as a launching pad for graduate students and professionals interested in a career in social enterprise management and impact investing. Unlike many internship and fellowship programs, the FMS program grounds the work experience with accredited university coursework that provides a practical blend of hard and soft skills; and unlike many academic courses, the program pairs the training with field experience that is useful to students, entrepreneurs, and investors.

The Frontier Market Scouts program currently admits about 50 scouts a year, with guaranteed field placements in carefully vetted social enterprises and impact investment organizations. The January 2013 training program had 27 participants, including eight international participants, and spring placements will be located in Brazil, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda, and the U.S.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir