EMP in the News

SMART students learn from the unexpected to make a global impact

Dyson Business Feed – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

August 2, 2019

“We’re conditioned to think the professor at the front of the classroom is the only educator, but sometimes, the best lessons come from unexpected sources. In the Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Teams (SMART) program, multiple interactions play a role in education, and students learn from many of the people they encounter—especially in the field. Read more.


2019 SMART program reflections: Cappeny Estates, South Africa

Dyson Business Feed – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

May 23, 2019

“The SMART experience is meaningful and transformative because of its ability to tackle interdisciplinary questions about development, learning that is only possible through holistic engagement from the student. Reflecting on my experience working with Cappeny Estates and my SMART team, the main takeaway was that business norms and trajectories are neither objective nor purely economic; in many cases, particularly those that involve emerging markets, its sociopolitical factors and complex national or ethnic histories that heavily impact business goals and environments.” Read more.


2019 SMART program reflections: O’live Handmade Soaps, South Africa

Dyson Business Feed – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

May 21, 2019

“I was surprised at how much the country’s complicated history affects O’live. As a black-owned business, it faces many difficulties, but also many opportunities from controversial government policies. I learned a lot—even in just 10 days—from being involved in a business built on passion and determination. Working with a multidisciplinary team was also educational, and it allowed me to form lasting friendships.” Read more.


2019 SMART program reflections: FCC, Colombia

Dyson Business Feed – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

May 14, 2019

“I’ve had the opportunity to observe a social setting that has enormous implications on both a cooperative’s activities and its member communities. I got the chance to meet with FCC’s member farmers, agroecological school students, and local experts. I’ve learned a great deal from meeting them and hearing more about their experiences; far more than I would otherwise learn from reading an academic paper inside the classroom.” Read more.


2019 SMART program reflections: Azuri Health, Kenya

Dyson Business Feed – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

April 11, 2019

“Azuri Health, located in Thika, Kenya, is a small business that focuses on providing nutritious products, in the forms of dried fruits, various porridges, and flours to the surrounding Nairobi area… The SMART team was challenged to explore, understand, and document Azuri’s value chain to inform market opportunities for growth within Kenya and beyond. The team was tasked with completing market research analysis.” Read more.


2019 SMART program reflections: Cau Chocolates, Indonesia

Dyson Business Feed – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

April 5, 2019

“Cau Chocolates is a small, private, and family-owned business with headquarters in Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia. The company began by offering rural tours to international visitors in an agro-tourisum format, but they soon found that their chocolates were the most viable part of their business model… The [SMART] team was challenged to investigate how Cau Chocolates could upgrade its offerings and provide value-added products in rural Indonesia.” Read more.


APO conducts workshop on Accelerating Agribusiness Startups

Asian Productivity Organization News

March 18, 2019

“The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) concluded a workshop on Accelerating Agribusiness Startups in Yogyakarta, 11–15 March 2019. The collaborative program with Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management was conducted with support from Indonesia’s Bureau for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Directorate General of Training and Productivity of the Ministry of Manpower.” Read more.


Malawians Eating Less Cassava, Potatoes

The Times Group

January 14, 2019

“Producers of root crops in the country have decried low consumption of their products on the local market. The producers have attributed the situation to the dominance of cereals such as maize and failure by Malawians to adjust to such products. This came out when one of the players in the business, Fannie Gondwe of Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise, was hosting a team of researchers from the United States (US) Cornell University who are in the country to conduct a study on production, use and marketing of root crops.” Read more.


SMART Program reflections: Herbal View in South Africa

Dyson Business Feed – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

March 15, 2018

“Herbal View is a hydroponic food security project that produces vegetables and herbs. The business operates on farmland in Simondium and uses tunnels, shade nets, and open fields. Recently, Herbal View has started processing herbs and spices in addition to making its own pesto. The business aims to position itself as a marketable brand in various parts of South Africa, which requires new labelling and branding and a marketing campaign.” Read more.


SMART Program reflections: Dirkosh Crunch in Ethiopia

Dyson Business Feed – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

March 2, 2018

“Over winter break, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in Cornell’s Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Team (SMART) as a consultant for Dirkosh Crunch, a small agri-business, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The experience was unique and unparalleled to anything any of my team members and I had ever experienced before. We all are profoundly grateful for having had the opportunity and hope to see Dirkosh succeed and grow into a prosperous business.” Read more.


A Business Evaluation of the Sales and Distribution Model for Index-Based Livestock Insurance in Kenya

Economics that Really Matters

February 28, 2018

“’Developing the insurance product was the easy part. The tweaking, monitoring, and adapting – that has been much more complicated.’” This, in essence, was what Cornell development economist Christopher Barrett informed us as we began discussing our upcoming Kenya research trip with him. He was right. Since the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) formulated Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) ten years ago, the product has been lauded as a strategy to prevent drought-induced livestock losses among Kenyan and Ethiopian pastoralists.” Read more.


Noteworthy: Student teams advise entrepreneurs in Africa

Dyson Business Feed – Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

December 8, 2017

“Entrepreneurs in developing economies face unique marketing challenges when growing their businesses. The Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Team (SMART) program at Cornell, now in its 15th year, has a long history of helping burgeoning entrepreneurs successfully expand their operations. Part of the Emerging Markets Program in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, SMART sends compact teams of undergraduate and graduate students to consult with small businesses around the globe.” Read more.


Service learning overseas is worth the risks. Parents should be proud, not scared.

USA Today

September 5, 2017

“I was working in my garden recently when my neighbor, Christina Culver, walked over almost in tears. “My son has decided to go to Kenya for another volunteer engagement. I am worried about his safety,” she said. As students start their new semesters at colleges and universities, many are considering signing up for international opportunities this academic year. I am sure my neighbor is not the only parent feeling this concern. As both a father and someone who has worked with international service-learning trips for students at Cornell University, I instantly recognized what my neighbor felt.” Read more.


Cornell’s SMART program wins success story award

Cornell Chronicle

December 19, 2016

“Cornell’s Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Team (SMART) was recognized for its impact on poor communities by earning the L.A. Potts Success Story award on Dec. 5 at the Professional Agricultural Workers Conference… The program, started in 2002 as part of the CIIFAD program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, brings together teams of students and faculty from diverse disciplines across Cornell and pairs them with firms, organizations or community groups in developing countries.” Read more.

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