CSIL is Looking for Graduate Assistants!

FMS Operations Assistant (10-15 hours/week)
Primary responsibilities: Coordinate key operations including special events logistics, and budgeting support.  Oversee incoming applicant data management and information/systems processing.
Click here for full job description
Hiring Contact: George Alex Wilbanks (gwilbanks@miis.edu)

Student Impact Coordinator (10-15 hours/week)
Primary responsibilities: M FORCE, Pipeline: B Corps, Millennial Speaker Series, Office Hours with Jerry.
Click here for full job description
Hiring Contact: Jerry Hildebrand (jhildebrand@miis.edu)

Domestic Microfinance Director (10 hours/week)
Primary responsibilities: Perform research, strategic recommendations, and public representation of the CSIL Microfinance Initiative.
Click here for full job description
Hiring Contact: Jerry Hildebrand (jhildebrand@miis.edu)

Strategic Initiatives Coordinator (10-20 hours/week)
Primary Responsibilities: Support Ambassador Corps Programs including Digital Storytelling Curriculum and CSIL Hub Management.
Click here for full job description
Hiring Contact: Annie Makela (mmakela@miis.edu)

CSIL Collaboration Assistant (10-15 hours/week)
Primary Responsibilities: Coordinate initiatives between the MIIS CSIL team and the Middlebury CSE team as well as help organize the CSIL Advisory Council meeting happening in November.
Hiring Contact: Annie Makela (mmakela@miis.edu)

Join Us! The CSIL Open House – September 9th 4-:30-6:30pm

RSVP: socialimpact@miis.edu


Center for Social Impact Learning | Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Blog: sites.miis.edu/csil | Instagram: center4impact | Twitter: @center4impact| go.miis.edu/csil

We provide training and research programming for purpose-driven professionals seeking to develop careers centered on social enterprise and responsible investing.


The MIIS Hult Prize@ Finalists from left: Maria Kovell (MPA ‘14), Amitay Flores (IPS ‘14), Amanda Boyek (IPS ‘14), Natalie Cox (MPA ‘14), Amy Ross (MPA ‘14) – Click here to read the full story.

Interested students have the opportunity to lead in bringing together the change agents that cultivate and launch compelling social business ideas poised to change the world.

The US$1 Million Hult Prize@, the world’s largest student competition is recruiting student Campus Directors from around the world! Campus Directors will work to organize local, “Hult Prize@” events on campus.

One of the tasks of the Hult Prize@ campus director is to recruit judges and influencers for on-campus events. Students worldwide are putting their energy, their experience, their intellect, and their passion toward a common goal of eliminating one of the most pressing global crises of our time.

It’s not everyday that you have an opportunity like this to change the world. Sign up now to compete in the 2015 Hult Prize@ Competition and launch your social business idea. All you need is an idea and a team to compete. Give us your 5 minute pitch on November 21st and you could be selected to represent MIIS at the upcoming Hult Prize@ Regional Finals in the Spring of 2015. Here is your chance to make an impact!

~ Slater Matzke, MPA 2016 Candidate and 2015 Hult Prize@ Campus Director @MIIS

Click here to learn more and apply.

About CSIL: With a focus on the social impact of business and responsible financial investment, CSIL creates opportunities for valuable and practical experiences for undergraduates, graduates and professionals and a network for a future career.

Ready to learn more? We’d love to connect! Get in touch: socialimpact@miis.edu.



Fellow Feature: An Interview with FMS Alumna Brittany Lane

Brittany Lane          FMS ’15 Alumna                 Editor, Unreasonable Group

“I get my mind blown every time, and every single day. I’m learning so fast and so much”

Brittany Lane (FMS ’15) chatted with us recently about her new position as Editor at Unreasonable Group in Boulder, Colorado. We wanted to know more about what makes Unreasonable Group such an inspiring and exciting place to work.  Brittany shared insights about life and launching her purpose-driven career after FMS and graduate school:

Tell us about your new position

I love my job. Unreasonable Group works to drive resources and knowledge to entrepreneurs in emerging markets. I focus on our blog at unreasonable.is and edit everything that comes my way. I also pitch ideas for content and have great conversations with current thought leaders and mentors that are connected to Unreasonable Institute and Unreasonable Group. We are planning to feature more writing from the entrepreneurs who have graduated from Unreasonable Institute as well.

What has been the most exciting part about working with Unreasonable and professional life in the impact space?

For me, the people are the most exciting part. I’ve heard Daniel Epstein and many others at Unreasonable believe that business is really just about people, not the strategy or the marketing, and that holds really true for me. The variety of people who are interested in Unreasonable and have worked with us in the past or that do work with us now is fascinating. These are people from all over the world, and people from all sectors. Having conversations with such bright minds is great. I get my mind blown every time and every single day. I’m learning so fast and so much; it’s really rewarding work.

How are you directly applying some of the skills learned through FMS?

Without FMS and CSIL, I wouldn’t have discovered Unreasonable. I definitely wouldn’t have gotten this position if I hadn’t gone through the program. I highly encourage the training, and FMS Fellows have the opportunity to place with Unreasonable East Africa, which would be awesome.

For me, coming from a policy study background, the most important thing was being introduced to this whole world of responsible investing and social enterprise. It gave me notions of business for good and an introduction to the general ecosystem. Through FMS training, I learned who the key players are in this space, how investment plays into it,   about the lifecycle and different levels of startup. To be able to speak the language of whatever industry you’re in is a really important baseline. Especially for me working with words on the journalism side of things, language is really important. Plus the connections were amazing.

It was the PERFECT introduction and launching point for me. Without the FMS training experience I don’t know what I would be doing right now. I was studying policy but realized traditional development work wasn’t for me. This is a fresh and energetic approach to solving big and seemingly impossible problems.

What are you most excited to learn in your current position?

I’m most excited about how I can grow within Unreasonable and position myself as a leader as the company grows. Learning how I can improve in my role and continue to spread the culture of giving is very important to me. I just started and already I’ve learned so much, I’m just excited to see what’s next.

What are your top three recommendations for someone looking to start a purpose-driven career?

  1. Take some time to really know your values because they are your distinct compass
  2. Subscribe, Follow, Share, Tweet as much as you can about this field and its language. It’s ever-evolving and the time is ripe for you to actively participate.
  3. Surround yourself with people who share similar values and see how you can support each other.

Like many of our alumni, Brittany joined FMS looking for a change from her previous field of work and study, and now directly credits her FMS training as the launchpad for her current career path.

If you are looking for a way to launch into the field of social enterprise and impact management, be sure to apply before September 4th at go.miis.edu/fms and start your purpose-driven career.  After all, what are you waiting for?
Follow Brittany: @brittanylane515    |    Follow Unreasonable: @unreasonable   |    Follow FMS @FMScouts 

Cattle Mettle: Pilot Stage Enterprise Ready for Take-off

Cattle Mettle: Pilot Stage Enterprise Ready for Take-off

We all know that social entrepreneurs are brilliant, but social entrepreneurs who bring their ideas into fruition are some of the world’s most hard-working and motivated individuals. This blog post introduces Nikhil Bohra, founder of pilot-stage social enterprise, “Cattle Mettle,” that the Frontier Market Scouts staff met at Berkeley’s Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC).


The Problem

India is the global leader in milk production, with approximately 135 million tonnes of production each year (297 billion lbs).[1] However, according to impact investing firm “Venture Dairy,” India produces this amount with entirely too many cattle.[2] In other words, productivity is low and farmers earn far less than they should. Trevor Tomkins of Venture Dairy reports that rural Indian cattle produce 3 litres of milk per day, which could be increased to 15 litres per day with adequate nutrition! Low productivity not only traps the producers in poverty, but leads to wasteful livestock management and land use.

These issues in the upstream dairy supply chain are not unique to India. However, a creative solution was born in Rajasthan. A team of social entrepreneurs has developed a solution that aims to increase productivity, increase farmer income, and improve the environmental footprint of production. Cattle Mettle is a social enterprise that uses the invasive mesquite weed to better nourish cattle, increase milk productivity, increase farmer income, and improve land management.



What was your inspiration for this venture?

NB: I was working with a local NGO, which was a part of a research project on developing different products from Mesquite, and cattle feed was one such product. Though the knowledge around Mesquite had been in public for long, there hadn’t been much research in India on its usage and no one has shown interest or taken risk to establish its supply chain for animal nutrition. Having the knowledge of communities at grassroots level, local and International Mesquite research and technical knowledge as a Biotech engineer, I felt that I was in a better position than others to start and I just did!


What has been the biggest challenge so far?

NB: Our biggest challenge has been in setting up supply chain around raw materials. These pods grow in varied regions and establishing such collection network is an exhaustive task.


What about some rewarding moments?

NB: There have been many proud moments for us:

Once we tested our products with my milkmen, and within a week when he started seeing the benefits, he proposed to supply milk free of cost to us in lieu of cattle feed. This is exactly the model that we want to establish.

We found that villagers are happy to try out new products when it is about increasing the productivity and efficiency of their animals. Every field visit of ours brings a rewarding moment for us, especially increasing knowledge about rural ecosystem and social dynamics.

Along the way, one does find naysayers but recognition like GSVC is something very rewarding for entrepreneurs like us to keep up with our work.


What is the long-term goal for Cattle Mettle in terms of scale?

NB: We aim to supply affordable cattle feed to approximately 200,000 cattle heads every day in next 5 years benefitting 100,000 households in Rajasthan and neighboring states. At such production capacity, we would create over 6000 additional jobs in raw material collection and processing, and stop approximately 40 billion Mesquite seeds from entering into arable and urban regions. Simultaneously, we look forward to pilot in Kenya, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico and, begin commercial sales in this time frame and move a level higher to solve this global problem.


How have you been supported by the growing global network of Social Entrepreneurs and Impact Investors?

NB: Competitions like GSVC are a great platform to showcase your venture and to get valuable feedback from an international perspective. The deliverables required to participate were so exhaustive that they prepare you well with your business models and ensure that you are ready to launch your venture.


What is your message to potential investors?

NB: We are still in search for the right kind of investment partner who could add to our efforts in increasing cattle productivity in India. The investors who we have approached until now either do not have similar portfolio companies in animal nutrition and hence do not want to take the risk or are much focused on other social sectors which have greater benefits/ impact for human.


What is your advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs with an idea?

NB: Start early, fail fast and iterate till you achieve your goal.


Learn more about Cattle Mettle on their website.

About Nikhil:


Nikhil Bohra is a postgraduate in Innovation and Leadership from ASLI and an engineer in Biotechnology from VIT University, where he founded and operated Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Development. He was recently an Innovation Fellow at Bihar Innovation Lab, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and researched on health, nutrition and entrepreneurship.


About the Author:


Cara Hagan is a MIIS MBA with a specialization in Sustainable Supply Chain Management. While at MIIS, she worked as a graduate assistant for CSIL and learned about social entrepreneurship working with the Frontier Market Scouts training. This summer she begins a position as production manager for an artisan jewelry company in Ecuador.


[1] “Indian Dairy Sector Set for Overhaul; to Move from Processors to Producers.” Times Of India. Economic Times, 8 July 2014. Web. 14 June 2015.

[2] “Indian Dairy Sector Set for Overhaul; to Move from Processors to Producers.” Times Of India. Economic Times, 8 July 2014. Web. 14 June 2015.


FMS Presents: Andrew Hewitt, Launching a purpose-driven career

IMG_0363On the last day of the FMS Training program, Andrew Hewitt from GameChangers 500 came to speak on how participants could connect everything they had learned over the past two weeks to launching a career in the impact investment and social enterprise sectors. Participants were led in discussions surrounding what their values are, what really inspires them on a daily basis, and what their core strengths are. Andrew also mapped out the different sectors of for-profit, non-profit, and for-benefit in order to have a deeper discussion on where participants saw themselves heading for their future careers. Participants ended the session with a career commitment toast where they each pledged to do something in the sector as part of their career or life path.


Portfolio Management: Steven Ellis Instructs FMS Participants

IMG_0334On Thursday, June 11th, Steven Ellis from Colorado Capital Management came to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies to instruct FMS participants on the different aspects of portfolio management. He kicked off the class with a quiz to determine how “risk averse” each participant was with scores ranging from the 70’s – 80’s (“risk loving”) to the 30’s and 40’s (“very risk averse”). Steven broke down the different aspects of what goes into managing million dollar portfolios and got participants to evaluate what their values are when it comes to investing their money. Participants debated between the importance (or not) of companies being involved with issues such as tobacco, oil, alcohol, and even whether gender was taken into account when hiring senior level positions.


FMS training: Amit Sharma: Profiling Ventures for Impact Investing




For the second week of FMS training, CSIL welcomed Amit Sharma, founder of Empowerment Capital to talk about how we measure impact when looking at multinational corporations and organizations. Amit challenged participants to think about how we measure impact in the investment space and to come up with other ways in which impact could be measured. Questions were posed to the class such as: Does intent matter when looking at this space? Would you work for a global corporation such as Walmart, Goldman Sachs, and AT&T? Participants worked on analyzing different impact funds of companies from around the globe and critically questioning if those funds were a core part of these companies’ business models.

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The Why Factor: Why FMS? Why now?

KamillaKBy Kamilla Korsnes, FMS Fellow June 2015

During my five years as a business student at NHH in Norway I always felt like something was missing. I found business and economics interesting, but I was looking for some meaning beyond the focus on cost savings and profit maximization. That is how I ended up focusing on business ethics – studying how business can become more sustainable and ethical. However, business ethics has for me so far been mainly academic research. The philosophical and existential approach to business ethics is very interesting, but I would like to learn more about how to solve these problems in real life. I would like to learn more about how business can be used as a tool for solving social and environmental issues, rather than mainly focusing on how existing companies can do less damage. This is a more innovative, positive and future oriented approach. I think business can be a key to solving some of the problems we are facing today, and I strongly believe this is the future of business!

So why FMS? Because I believe I have the skills, knowledge and passion to contribute to a better world. The FMS Program will provide me with new and valuable insight supplementing my business skills and knowledge and help me utilize this knowledge in the best possible way. Why now? I just graduated and I am at the very beginning of my career. I cannot think of a better way to start my career than to do the FMS Training and Fellowship to learn about social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

What kind of social and environmental impact is most meaningful to you?

All kinds of social and environmental impacts are meaningful to me, but closest to my heart is gender equality. I come from one of the most gender equal countries in the world, but even in Norway there are still differences between men and women when it comes to income and career opportunities – and we should continue working towards complete gender equality. Related to this, one of my interests in my business studies has been to understand how to increase the proportion of women in business manager and board positions. I am grateful for growing up in a country where gender equality is taken for granted and something most people don’t fight for anymore. On the other hand I see an issue with taking things for granted – gender equality is something we should fight to maintain and something we should work to accomplish around the world. Empowering women is a key to economic growth and development and I think it will create synergies that can solve other social problems as well. This underlines the importance of giving women the same opportunities and rights when it comes to education, employment, financial inclusion and influence in society.

CSIL and FMS Welcome Alex Lazarow from the Omidyar Network


On Saturday, June 6th the Frontier Market Scouts program welcomed speaker Alex Lazarow from the Omidyar Network to speak on Managing Growth-Stage Enterprises. Participants discussed scaling business in terms of getting from a seed to stage to a scaled enterprise. What are the avenues that start-ups can take in order to get funding from investors?

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Then on Monday, participants were able to go up to Redwood City to visit Omidyar’s office to meet staff and hear about their insider perspectives about the work that they are doing in the impact investment space. Participants were also given time to pitch a “Big Idea” for a social enterprise to solve a global or national issue. Pitches included everything from creating solutions to health problems in China to supporting social enterprise in Egypt and even using social enterprise and native food production in order to change communities in developing countries.

Days 4 and 5 of FMS: Due Diligence Process in Impact Investment

Paul_Breloff-headshotFor the fourth and fifth day of the Summer 2015 Frontier Market Scouts training program, participants met instructor Paul Breloff from Accion Venture Labs who came to speak about the due diligence process in investment in social enterprise ventures. Participants were challenged to question impact metrics as well as dive into what the process is for investors looking to get into the impact investment space. Discussion ranged from taking into account environmental impact metrics when doing a business deal to what the difference between a “good deal” and a “good business” – what are investors really looking for? What’s the risk? What’s the return? What is the valuation zone? – these among other topics were discussion points throughout the two sessions. FMS participants also got to hear from guest speakers from the Director of CSIL, Jerry Hildebrand and the Cordes foundation, Ron Cordes.








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