This past September, Mathilde Thorel packed her bags and took off for eight months of travel across Africa and Asia to help women social entrepreneurs grow their businesses and amplify their social impact.
As part of her Why-Not-Women project, Thorel is meeting with women in Burkina Faso, Tanzania, India, Nepal, Philippines and Indonesia to improve their business models and find innovative solutions to make them sustainable in the long term.
Thorel, a graduate student at Sciences Po University in Paris, is one of many development-minded students pursuing a Master of Business Administration. Global development recruiters, too, are on the MBA bandwagon; recruiters polled in the recent “Devex Career Trends in 2015” survey identified an MBA as the second most in-demand degree, right after a master's in international development.
While a development degree lends an understanding of underlying issues, Thorel said, a business degree “gives you the tools to bring solutions” and equips development professionals with the mindset and skills to innovate, think of new economic models and produce financial results.