Applying the Fuzzy Front End Model to Social Entrepreneurship: Selecting projects in one of the hemisphere’s poorest economies

John Farris & Paul Lane, Grand Valley State University

The authors recently made a twenty-five day trip to assess the feasibility of carrying out interdisciplinary, social entrepreneurship projects in Nicaragua. Nicaragua has been ravaged by tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and civil war. Little of the traditional infrastructure used in developed countries for conducting business and education exists. The authors met with rural villagers, cooperative leaders, local manufacturers, NGO heads, and local university leaders. These people described the community’s needs, development priorities, and available resources. They also suggested many specific projects to address the community’s needs. In order to determine which specific projects should be pursued, the authors applied the fuzzy front end model presented at the 2005 NCIIA conference. The model now balances the priorities of social entrepreneurship, the local community, and the host educational institution.

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