Alumnus Connection Helps WIN Lab Go Global

SMART Liberia

Babson’s Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® has joined forces with alumnus Marvin Tarawally ’17 to support his organization, SMART Liberia, and its mission to empower young entrepreneurs of all kinds to lead and create change.

As part of a new initiative, WIN Lab staff and alumni are participating in a collaboration that pairs train-the-trainer curriculum with hands-on coaching to support women fellows in SMART Liberia’s local startup accelerator, Girls Entrepreneurship & Tech (G.E.T.).

WIN Lab in Liberia

Launched in March, and running continuously through October, the program gives SMART Liberia’s educators the opportunity to learn best practices and stage-based curriculum from the leading entrepreneurship school in the United States.

It also gives local women entrepreneurs one-on-one access to mentors who have completed Babson’s WIN Lab accelerator in either Boston or Miami, including: Shay Gaafar MBA’19, founder of Shay Jaffar; Maya Mutalik ’21, founder of Hope Sews; Jessica Do, founder of Palmpress Coffee; Krysta Lewis, founder of Aisling Organic Cosmetics; and Ruby Chan, founder of Fresh Zen.

“SMART Liberia is working toward a goal of developing 5,000 young leaders in five years … positioned to drive change across Liberia” said Tarawally, executive director of SMART Liberia. “It is my hope that upon completion of this program with Babson and the WIN Lab, our fellows will have a full understanding of the global business environment and how to operate a successful business.”

Course topics include Babson’s make-it-happen entrepreneurial mindset, operations and the customer journey, and self-reflection.

In Tarawally’s words, it is the “entrenchment of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action” that makes all the difference for leaders and changemakers like himself.

“Working against the system here in Liberia means constantly navigating through problems and challenges,” he shared. “With the mindset that Babson has instilled in me—that all of our problems are opportunities—our team has been able to stay the course with optimism and hopefulness.”

As a firm believer in entrepreneurship as a tool for sustainable development, Tarawally helped bring this program to life.

“Working with SMART Liberia is a beautifully aligned strategic collaboration for Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL),” said Susan Duffy, executive director of CWEL at Babson. “Over the last seven years, we have designed and implemented a large portfolio of assets specifically designed for women entrepreneurs through our award-winning WIN Lab accelerator program. We are thrilled to be sharing these assets to continue our mission to empower women in reaching their full entrepreneurial potential.”

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