Tupperware Brands Global Linksâ€™ inaugural Indian Scholar Sharmistha Banerjee felicitated in Kolkata
In 2015, Sharmistha Banerjee, a professor of business from the University of Calcutta and a Fulbright scholar who studied women’s empowerment in South Korea and Kenya, was selected as the first Global Links scholar from India.
The Global Links Program is a cross-cultural exchange program for high achieving female scholars in developing and post-conflict countries.
The nine to twelve month program involves in-depth business training in social entrepreneurship and practical business skills in the United States. After this training the scholars return to their home country and integrate their new business education curriculum at their university.
An integral part of the underlying philosophy of Global Links’ “train the trainer” model involves students going into communities and mentoring women in starting or scaling their own businesses.
Consul General Craig Hall, present at the event to extend his support to the Global Links Program, said, “I thank each of the student participants for making this year’s Global Links programme an outstanding one.
Sharmistha Banerjee has been an exemplary Global Links Scholar. Under her guidance, students have brought in positive changes in the lives of women social entrepreneurs which are beautifully captured in their presentations. I also congratulate Prof. Rumpa Chakraborty of Shri Shikshayatan College, Kolkata, who has been declared as the Global Links Scholar for 2017-19.”
Hall further added, “In the last decade U.S.-India relations have made significant progress. Our trade has increased from $19 billion in the year 2000 to over $100 billion today. Our militaries are carrying out more joint exercises. We’re cooperating on key global challenges, from nuclear proliferation to global health. The Global Links Program serves as the perfect example of how and what government, academics, and common people from the two countries can achieve by working together. It aims to catalyze women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship in India by creating a coalition between businesses, leading academic institutions, and civil society partners with the support of the U.S.”
Banerjee completed her nine-month in-depth course work and cutting-edge social entrepreneurship training at Rollins College and went on to participate in an externship with Tupperware Brands, where she acquired practical experience and business fundamentals and built relationships with professionals across all functions of the company.
Since returning from her U.S. based immersion experience, Dr. Banerjee has held nine workshops where more than 400 students and 50 faculty members have been engaged in the social entrepreneurship curriculum.
In phase two of the Global Links program - “Train the Trainer Activation”, 14 out of the 400 students have been trained and selected to work directly with female entrepreneurs who own enterprises in the Calcutta community. Five out of these 14 students have been chosen to participate in a two-week immersion experience in social entrepreneurship and American culture with Rollins College and Tupperware Brands in the United States.
Their names are: Kalapi Dutta from Sivanath Sastri College, Shirsita Banerjee from Sivanath Sastri College, Sreedipta Dhar Choudhury from Sivanath Sastri College, Swayan Ghosh, Department of Business Management, Calcutta University and Surabhi Mishra from Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration.
In her acceptance speech at the event, Banerjee said, “The Global Links experience has lead me through challenges and given me many more rewards. My experience at Rollins and Tupperware was pleasantly enriching. During my initial phase at Rollins College and Tupperware home office, the opportunity to learn about Social Entrepreneurship, the interactions with Rollins College community was the initiation of an eventful journey, whose route, end point or deliverables were unknown to me. The learning that social impact could be created through a business model and the passionate involvement of youngsters in such activities was truly heartwarming. This programme enabled me not only to empower the micro business loanees of Bandhan bank, but also the students from different colleges in Kolkata, who may not have had such openings to go beyond the college curriculum and be part of various cross cultural experiences.”
The U.S. Secretary of State's Office of Global Women's Issues utilizes the Global Links Program as a pillar for advancing women’s economic empowerment principles globally.
Global Links was piloted with an Iraqi professor, Dr. Amel Abed Mohammed Ali, from Babylon University in 2011.
Mohammed Ali successfully implemented the curriculum at Babylon University and her students assisted 75 women in starting their own enterprises.
As part of the program, Dr. Mohammed Ali also implemented a career center at Babylon University.