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Rebecca Stich

Rebecca Stich ’03: International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Rebecca Stich

Rebecca Stich, a Social Work/MBA dual degree student received a summer fellowship to work with the IRC, a leading international nonprofit organization that provides emergency services, long-term assistance and resettlement support to refugees around the world. “I’ve been interested in post-conflict reconstruction for a number of years,” she says, “and wanted to see if my business school knowledge could be relevant to refugee assistance.”

Stich coordinated the startup phase of an initiative to place AmeriCorps volunteers in 10 sites to design financial asset development projects for resettled refugees, and in particular women and youth who face special barriers to integration. These projects include microenterprise training and support, and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) which help low-income individuals save for a house or other major assets.

Stich assisted in hiring the VISTA members, and conducted research to design a set of training materials to help the sites plan for the further development of asset development programs. IDAs require familiarity with the structures of banking, even if the organization is not administering these accounts. “Having come from a nonprofit background, I could translate the business terminology into terms the organizations and clients were comfortable with,” she says.

“The nonprofit sector needs more people with business skills,” says Stich, “Some of the most cutting-edge anti-poverty programs involve a much closer tie to business and private enterprise than in the past. With the help of the summer fellowship, I was able to bring a new perspective and some useful tools to help the organization better serve some of the world’s most needy people.”

Back to other summer experiences


2014 Social Enterprise Conference

Millennials Rising: What's Next for Sustainability?

When: October 31, 2014,
8:30 am-6:00pm

The Marriott Marquis
1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Between 45th and 46th Streets
New York, NY 10036

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The annual Social Enterprise Conference at Columbia Business School brings together thought leaders from across private, nonprofit, public, and academic sectors to share best practices, debate critical issues, and collaborate on innovative concepts to inspire change. Through interactive sessions, keynote speakers, workshops, a pitch competition, and networking opportunities, the conference presents guests with the opportunity to partake in the most important business and societal conversation of this new era. For updates on speakers and sessions, please visit the conference website.

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Summer Fellowship Program

Microfinance models help women of Burkina Faso

Read about the experiences of our summer fellows as they help create social and environmental value.


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