I have been involved with the Turner Family Centre for Social Ventures (TFC) for two different projects—one with Project Pyramid and the other for the Hult Prize 2016 case competition.

My interest in Project Pyramid stemmed from my background in economic growth and development. My teammates and I worked closely with small to medium scale coffee farmers in Guatemala, and during my experience, I gained perception of a wide variety of angles in which to view poverty, as well as and introduction to the world of social enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The most important lesson I received was that the solutions we develop for poverty alleviation are sometimes flawed because we fail to think like the poor, or truly understand the social and cultural context of our target population.

After Project Pyramid, I started working with a team to create social enterprise for the Hult Prize 2016 case competition. My teammates and I developed a social enterprise that had the potential to double the income of the local fruit vendors in Lagos, Nigeria by 2022.

The TFC provided me the opportunity to work, in great detail, on poverty alleviation and sustainable growth. I would recommend others interested in participating in the center do so with the willingness to learn and develop several definitions for poverty.