• “We need to think deeply about what economic development is and who it is for; and, engage the larger society in that conversation.”

    Dr. David T. Barnard
    President and Vice-Chancellor
    University of Manitoba

  • “Rising income inequality undercuts the trust that is essential for the market system to work.”

    Art DeFehr
    President and CEO, Palliser Furniture.

  • “Investing in people in the new economy is now not just morally sound, but economically rational”

    Alan Freeman
    Cultural Economist

  • “Organizations and societies in which the top few appropriate most of the value are like inverted pyramids – inherently unstable”

    Dr. Hari Bapuji
    Associate Professor, University of Manitoba

  • “The present crisis has overturned many accepted truths: that poverty matters but inequality doesn't is one of the more important.”

    Radhika Desai
    Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba

  • “The income gap between rich and poor, between skilled and unskilled workers, has been rising in both developed and less developed countries for a number of years. The trend is disturbing and we must find a way to turn this trend around.”

    Michael Benarroch
    Dean, I.H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Decreasing Poverty through Business Education: Ivey Business School’s Africa Initiative

By BEIF Team

It has often been argued that education is a way to reduce economic inequalities, as higher education provides people with jobs that pay better, besides helping people to innovate and set up businesses. However, lack of access to education to the poor (given the high costs of tuition) has always been an issue even in the developed world.

In this context, Ivey Business School at Western University has set up 39 Country Initiative, which aims to reduce poverty by making education accessible. This initiative provides Ivey cases free of cost to faculty from 39 countries (of which 32 are in Africa), whose GDP is less than $2000/year. Further, Ivey is sending its HBA students and faculty to engage in co-teaching cases in Africa to develop expertise of the business educators. In addition, Ivey plans to publish casebooks and textbooks at low-cost and offer them to students in poor countries. This multi-pronged strategy is described in this document.

Despite some evidence that education increases inequality by giving better returns to the rich than the poor (which we highlighted in an earlier BEIF blog post), education is among the best tools we have to address inequality. So, is Ivey’s 39 country initiative a model for other business schools around the world to follow?