Northeastern University is leaps and bounds in front of other collegiate institutions in regard to cultivating social innovation in the world’s next round of entrepreneurs. A near and dear pal of mine, Matt Forrest, is taking part in their social entrepreneurship track during his studies at D’Amore-McKim School of Business at NU and he’s got a great project coming up! Matt and a gaggle of other NU students will be traveling to the Dominican Republic to implement some serious amounts of good.
Check out how Matt discovered the opportunity and what’s he’s got planned for future endeavors!
Megan: Give the readers the skinny on who you are and what you’re up to.
Matt: I am a junior at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University
where I am a candidate for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration
with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. With regards to my
entrepreneurship concentration I am specifically on the Social Entrepreneurship
Track. I’m also involved in the Entrepreneurs Club on campus and have just taken on
the role of Director of Marketing. I look forward to this new challenge!
Megan: What made you decide to participate in this social innovation project/trip?
Matt: To be honest I just stumbled upon Northeastern’s Social Enterprise Institute’s
website and was intrigued. I saw that the deadline to apply for the Dominican
Republic Microfinance Field Study and Research Program was rapidly approaching
and I decided why not apply!? Luckily my interview for this popular program
went well and I was accepted into the program. Through my work in my Social
Entrepreneurship and Innovation courses this semester I have learned that the world
needs people to step up and “be the change.” This has only solidified my decision to
go on this trip and make a difference.
Megan: How does this project/trip impact the work that you’re doing now in school and what you’ll pursue in the future?
Matt: Well social entrepreneurship is definitely something that I see myself doing in the
future. I’m still relatively a novice in this whole field so I am learning every day,
but it seems that the opportunities in this field – and the field of social innovation
specifically – are endless.
Megan: Have you always been involved in philanthropic efforts or is this trip a new
exploration of do-goodery for you?
Matt: I’ve always helped out with various causes locally, but I’ve never done anything on
this level. I look forward to what this new experience will teach me!
Megan: Beyond the scope of the work you’ll be doing in the Dominican, what
mission(s) of do-goodery would you like to give a shout out to?
Matt: There are two social enterprises that immediately come to mind. They are Muhammad
Yunus’ Grameen Bank and John Wood’s Room to Read. As part of my coursework
this semester I had to read Yunus’ Banker to the Poor and Wood’s Leaving Microsoft to
Change the World. The lessons in these books have proven to me that anyone can make
a difference if they put their mind to it. I would definitely recommend that everyone
alive should read these books. They are nothing short of amazing.
Matt and his fellow traveling students are looking for support in their efforts to make a huge impact while visiting the Dominican Republic. Donations can made to the school program directly to establish microfinance funds for Dominican business owners and build a drop irrigation system, a vital need for the agricultural demands of the region they’ll be visiting.
Check out the project’s fundraising page for more details and to contribute to the travel program’s experience and the betterment of living conditions in the Dominican Republic.