Published: May 6, 2012

When Arok Garang started Seeds of South Sudan, he wanted to free his home nation from the shackles of poverty by providing Sudanese children with the gift of education. In Fall 2011, CU students from CESR’s Business Solutions for the Developing World began working with Arok to develop his mission and work toward a more empowered future for the children of Sudan.

In 2008, CESR Instructor Francy Milner created Business Solutions for the Developing World, a course providing undergraduate Leeds School of Business students with the skill sets and opportunity to meet the real world needs of small business entrepreneurs in developing countries by developing sustainable business strategies. Today, the course is taught by CESR Instructor Catherine Milburn and consists of  students creating business plans to help entrepreneurs in third world countries with their business endeavors.

Unlike many mock projects conducted in universities, Business Solutions has a tangible impact on its partnering entrepreneurs. Instructor Milburn recently received an update from Arok, in which he writes,

I just wanted to let you know that, I’m now in Kenya and will be heading to South Sudan…The students have done more than I was expecting. They have accomplished more what was done last semester. I’m very excited because of what they done within very short time. The students have accomplished all the project assignments except for the video kits, which I don’t think it will be possible since I’m not there this month. I will also email them. Let me know if there is something I can do while I’m here.

Arok’s devotion to Seeds of Sudan and gratitude for the assistance of CU students mirrors the inspiration of other projects in the Business Solutions course. Other course projects this semester include:

BOULD, a mission driven enterprise that seeks to eliminate substandard housing while providing comprehensive green building education for professionals and students

- WAVES, a US, Peru and Swiss based 501c3 developing sustainable economy,   education and youth programs in Lobitos Peru using surf tourism and voluntourism as a catalyst

 - Global Peace Train, a nonprofit that partners with local communities to build small businesses to help uplift them from poverty

 - Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF), a non-profit organization that has developed a successful approach to re-planting distressed reefs in the Florida Keys

Adventure Climbing in Brazil, committed to improving lives through an outdoor sports and adventure program for under-privileged youth in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, expanding to other at-risk communities at the center of adventure tourism

 - Ecotourism in Escobal, Panama, in which the main objective is to create a sound business and marketing plan to erect, promote, and expand Punta Macu, and sustainable tourism in general in Escobal, Colón

CESR is thrilled with the positive contributions our students make by engaging in inspiring endeavors such as these each semester!