Marriott Alumni Magazine

Fall 2019

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School News and are doing it in a way that's reaching and improving problems that have been around for a long time," he says. Now a nineteen-year-old BYU sopho- more studying computer science, Berhan works to solve problems she discovered while visiting Ethiopia by empowering women to use their skills and become self-reliant. Berhan partnered with the United Nations in Ethiopia to employ women at a UN safe house to make baby swaddles, which will be sold in the United States. "A lot of the women already knew how to sew and weave, so I thought this would be a cool thing to start," Berhan says. "You have to bridge the gap between our culture and theirs—that's what I'm trying to do through Kelali." gmc Hosts Seventh High School Business Language Competition More than one hundred high school students from around the state of Utah participated in the seventh annual High School Business Language Competition held by BYU Marriott's Whitmore Global Management Center (GMC). "This opportunity for high school stu- dents was great," says Jonathon Wood, managing director of the GMC. "Putting the language you are learning to use in a business setting isn't something most high school students realize they would enjoy." Thirty-four teams competed and were tasked with learning how to market dif- ferent types of bags made by Cotopaxi, a local Utah company that sells outdoor adventure goods, to youth in Japan. Students were given background informa- tion on the basics of business and research Women Helping Women in Entrepreneurship BYU student Olivia Berhan from Mount Vernon, Washington, was seventeen years old when she first visited Ethiopia with her father, Mussie, a refugee from the African country. While visiting Ethiopia, Berhan noticed crowds of disenfran- chised women begging in the streets, and she vowed to help them. Fast forward to today, and Berhan has founded a company that aims to give women in Ethiopia a way to provide for themselves. The company, Kelali, is one of nine student-run ventures pitched to the Social Venture Academy, a resource provided by BYU Marriott's Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance. Through the event, student entrepre- neurs in the academy work to solve social issues across the globe. Recent participants seem to be setting a new trend in social entrepreneurship: women helping women. Eight of the nine ventures in the academy include at least one woman team member, and three of the ventures—including Berhan's Kelali— were founded exclusively by women. Aaron Miller, an assistant teaching professor of public service and ethics at BYU Marriott, believes that women in social entrepreneurship appears to be a trend that won't be slowing down anytime soon. "More and more women are moving into social entrepreneurship about their target audience. Then the students gave a final presentation—in their selected language—about how they would market this product. "The high school teachers talked about what a great experience this was for their students," says Wood. "My colleagues and I were pleased because we helped these students start thinking about a future in international business." This year's competition saw a huge increase in participants—double what they had last year. In previous years, the competition only included students participating in Spanish. For this year's competition, Mandarin, French, and Arabic languages were also included. The competition was funded through the GMC's CIBER grant, which is designed to foster an interest in global business among students of all ages. Wood says that in hosting this competition, the GMC helps provide students with an oppor- tunity to see that they can do more with their second language than just speak it. FAcULTY NEWS Footprints in Government Lead the Next Generation Rex Facer—a leader in prominent human resource research, an overseas civic representative, and a presidential appointee—has made a significant imprint in the US government. Now this BYU Marriott associate professor of pub- lic management may change the entire Olivia Berhan, left, in Ethiopia 36 MARRIOTT

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