BABSON COLLEGE-TRAINED ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS RETURN TO MIDDLE EAST TO LAUNCH NEW BUSINESSES TOGETHER

Entrepreneurial Ventures Are Tools To Broker Peace

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44 Israeli and Palestinian students ─ trained in entrepreneurship skills at Babson College this summer ─ have returned to the Middle East to launch 2 new businesses.   
The teams are part of an innovative entrepreneurship education program, “Bridging the Cultural Divide through Entrepreneurship,” led by Babson Professor Ted Grossman
 The new business ventures are:
·         Simplastic by Horizon Co. ─ An inexpensive, clip-on device for sunglasses.  The business’s mission is 'comfort in mobility’.  Sunglasses represent a huge market in the Middle East.
·         A 'stun ring' by BringIt. ─ In Israel, 6.6 women are sexually molested or raped every day.   The stun ring is a costume jewelry ring with a built-in camouflaged stun mechanism.   The company's mission:  Supplying a woman's right to security and freedom, regardless of religion, geography, or race.
The 2 companies, each made up of students from a variety of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, will receive $5,000 each in Babson seed capital and participate in distance-learning initiatives to keep global faculty and support teams updated. 
At the end of 16 weeks, students will complete a Report to the Community in the Middle East, presenting to faculty members, community service organizations, local diplomats and politicians, family members, and fellow classmates.
“The real challenge for the students will be to maintain the cross cultural relationships that they developed during their time at Babson in spite of the potential negative pressure by their peers and others back home” said Professor Grossman.  “Our hope is that their new understanding of what entrepreneurship can achieve ─as a tool to broker peace─ will stay them through this challenge.”
For information on Bridging the Cultural Divide through Entrepreneurship, visit http://www.babson.edu/news-events/babson-news/pages/110518-israeli-and-palestinian-students-to-study-together.aspx

By Barbara Spies Blair, blairb@babson.edu, 781-239-4621 | 08/15/2011 08:00