Ballard Center Names New Fellows
Two international educators will continue to bring their innovative expertise to Brigham Young University as newly named fellows for the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance. PROVO, Utah – Dec 20, 2011 –
Businessmen and entrepreneurs Stephen Gibson and Jeremi Brewer have been named Ballard Research Fellow and Peery Research Fellow, respectively. As fellows, the practitioners receive funding and other resources to incorporate principles of social problem solving within their research projects and student mentoring.
"We are excited to have Stephen and Jeremi as our new fellows," says Todd Manwaring, managing director of the Ballard Center. "Together the Ballard Center and our fellows are teaching BYU students how to complement their lives with social innovation."
Gibson and Brewer will concentrate on expanding the Ballard Center's new program, the Microenterprise Education Initiative. To fulfill this initiative, the fellows will teach students about the day-to-day culture of a microenterprise operator with a curriculum they created with their collected research.
The goal of the initiative is to help the Ballard Center become the thought leader on educating the world's poor to become more successful microenterprisers. Two segments are helped through the initiative — the poor throughout the world and the BYU students learning how to give of their time and talents to the unfortunate.
"There are many global organizations striving to help people start businesses and lending money to microenterprisers, but there are very few who are teaching millions of shop owners," Gibson says.
Gibson's expertise is displayed in the principles he used to found the Academy for Creating Enterprise, an organization that teaches returned LDS missionaries from poor nations how to establish small business ventures.
Brewer, who holds a doctorate in Hispanic studies with an emphasis in culture, poverty and necessity entrepreneurship, works as the Mexico country director for the Academy for Creating Enterprise.
"I love working with BYU students and seeing their vibrant drive for excellence," Brewer says. "I love the passion they have to help individuals struggling in poverty."
The fellows will draw from their upcoming book, "Necessity Entrepreneurship," to teach students. The book explores the need for microenterprise education training and the state of the world today under the microenterprise umbrella. Different cultures from 25 countries are featured in the book, such as the Philippines, Mongolia, Israel and Fiji.
"Our book contains research on the millions of shop owners who are being taught to manage their businesses," Gibson says. "Researching and writing this book opened my eyes to a world view approach for me to personally help the poor."
The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.
Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Miriam Shumway