June 1, 2010
I became a volunteer through BRAC USA after four years of experience in Investment Banking and Private Equity investing. This experience in providing financial, strategic and management support to middle market and entrepreneurial businesses helped lay the ground work for my interest in the support and development of social enterprises, particularly in the developing world. BRAC represents a pioneer in the field and stands as the world’s’ most successful and diversified social enterprise development organization as demonstrated by the range of program support enterprises and commercial projects it has established over the last 30 years. Each enterprise is aimed at providing its beneficiaries with high quality inputs and market access at fair prices. Additionally, any profit that is generated through commercial ventures such as BRAC Dairy and Aarong retail stores is reinvested into the organization to support programs in education, health, social development and disaster relief. Over a three month period I volunteered to work in Bangladesh. As a volunteer I visited many of BRAC’s social enterprises and met with the talented and dedicated management teams to gain a better understanding of the operations, future initiatives and track record of social development.
I feel very fortunate to have been provided this opportunity by BRAC as it was a unique experience to learn more about BRAC’s pioneering social business model. It is a model that demonstrates the efficiency, growth and scale of high performing social enterprises and helps define the true potential of corporate social impact. As BRAC’s Managing Director of Enterprises and former commercial banking executive, Mr. Rumee Ali told me on my first day, the commercial world has a lot to learn about the true meaning of “corporate responsibility,” an often used but vaguely defined and applied buzzword that I gained more appreciation and admiration for with each day at BRAC.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Bangladesh and Uganda, two of the major areas where the organization operates. Most importantly I spent time visiting with the beneficiaries of BRAC's education, microfinance, health and other development programs.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
increase the number of countries where the organization operates. As of today the organization operates a number of countries in Africa and South Asia, but the success of the organization should be applied to even more countries with citizens in need.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
the opportunity to visit the programs and meet the beneficiaries in person. Specifically, I traveled to Bangladesh and Uganda.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
the most dedicated and selfless individuals I haver ever met. Everyone was also extremely hospitable and very helpful to ensure my experience was nothing short of amazing.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
It could invest in a program that would ultimately become self-sustainable and scalable to reach millions of people in need. That is what BRAC does best.
Ways to make it better...
I had more time to spend visiting the programs and volunteering my skills to support the organization.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
to manage its growth. It is an organization that was started to help Bangladesh recover from the war of independence and now aims to help fight poverty around the world.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every month
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Former volunteer & I volunteered to work with the social enterprise development program.