Humber will be partnering with seven universities in Sulawesi, Indonesia for a five-year, $4.6 million initiative to help develop the partner institutions’ capacity to deliver entrepreneurial curricula. The project is funded by the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Humber College.

“There is great entrepreneurial spirit throughout Indonesia, but people need opportunities and an awareness of the resources to flourish,” explains Lisa Anketell, manager of Humber’s International Development Institute and the project’s Canadian manager. “We are going to be partnering with the universities to help them infuse entrepreneurial curricula in to their programs, as well as liaising with local stakeholders to help support small and medium-sized enterprises.”

SEDS was officially launched on October 30, 2012, after Humber and CIDA’s Partnerships with Canadians Branch signed a Contribution Agreement.

Two graduates of Humber’s International Development graduate certificate program will be participating in a Strategic Planning Forum in Sulawesi in January - the first official activity of the project. They will then work with local stakeholders to conduct a needs assessment.

The findings from the needs assessment will form the foundation for a series of workshops that will be delivered in Sulawesi over five years by Humber faculty and external consultants.

“Humber did some work in Indonesia around small business development following the devastation of the tsunami on December 26, 2004,” says Humber’s Director of International Development Projects Kent Schroeder. “It seemed like a natural fit to build on this experience, particularly as Indonesia is one of CIDA’s 20 countries of focus for Canadian aid.”

According to Schroeder, there are many benefits to this type of project, both for Humber and for its Sulawesi university partners.

“The project will ultimately contribute to alleviating poverty in Sulawesi,” he explains. “It will provide Humber faculty with a unique cross-cultural professional development experience. Students will benefit through a number of internship opportunities, giving them the field experience that is critical for finding future employment. And the partners in Sulawesi will become key local stakeholders fostering a small business sector that generates employment and increases incomes.”

SEDS is one of the largest international development projects ever undertaken by Humber.

Photo courtesy of Michael Hatton