DM Capstone 2018: The final project for our graduate programs is an applied research project designed to enable participants to integrate and use what they have learned to make a difference in our shared world.
From Problem to Opportunity
Tanzania is rich in natural resources and commodities like many developing countries. It also has a wealth of able women. Yet women are unable to fully use their abilities or benefit from their work due to limited education, wage inequalities, and cultural norms.
Women entrepreneurs working in the coffee industry in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania.
Applied Research Question
How to design a Design Management education outside of the traditional classroom to help women entrepreneurs to develop creative enterprise leadership skills that enable business opportunities and their livelihoods?
Awarded a Pratt Institute Graduate Student Engagement Fund grant, our Capstone catalysts conducted in situ research to surface challenges facing rural women working in the Northern Tanzania coffee industry. Financial literacy proved to be a main barrier to success. As a result, our Catalysts framed their research around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Gender Inequality, Economic Growth, Innovation Infrastructure, and Partnership Goals to help women connect to income generating activities in their rural communities.
In partnership with the International Women’s Coffee Alliance Tanzania chapter and the Tanzania Women in Coffee Association, our Catalysts prototyped workshops and a community resource platform using key ‘triple bottom line by design’ business methods taught within Pratt Institute’s Graduate Program in Design Management.
The final program offerings include three-day design education workshops on the following topics:
• Strategic Marketing – to better understand audiences and design user experiences
• Managing Finances – to support effective budgeting, accounting, and income saving
• Grant Proposal Writing – to enhance skills in storytelling and capital fund raising
A web platform also connects women with relevant support and funding resources available in their communities.
This program strengthens women entrepreneurs and independent businesses by adding a triple bottom line by design framework to their business practices. The team aims to replicate or adapt their workshops and community resource building activities to other locations, and in so doing further the discussion and impact of a Design Management education in rural developing communities.