Product & Market Development for Subsistence Marketplaces

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, 2007 - $21,500

Faculty at UIUC have developed Product & Market Development for Subsistence Marketplaces, a two-semester course offered through the colleges of business and engineering geared towards business and engineering practices for subsistence marketplaces. Through immersive practices, students in the pilot year underwent poverty simulation, analyzed and interviewed subsistence individuals, and explored conceptual models of poverty. In the next stage, students were immersed in case studies and guest speakers. Student teams then generated and evaluated a long list of possible solutions to problems, then narrowed it down to a smaller set. In the final phase of the course, students designed market research to be conducted during the field trip, taken during the winter break in Chennai and Bangalore, India.

The goal of this grant is to sustain and further develop the course over the 2008-09 academic year. Specifically, faculty will refine course material based on student feedback and research, create two case studies based on student projects from the pilot class, and fund three student projects.