| UST Develops Partnership with El Centro Fox |
Former Mexico President Vicente Fox’s historic visit to the University of St. Thomas on Nov. 23 set the stage to establish a partnership between UST’s Center for International Studies Social Entrepreneurship Program and Fox’s El Centro Fox.
This partnership recognizes the importance of improving the welfare of the populations of Mexico and Latin America, and will expand both organizations’ efforts to implement poverty alleviation through microfinance and other measures.
While at UST, Fox also gave a public lecture on “Poverty Alleviation Through International Collaboration.” View a 10-minute excerpt of Fox’s lecture or the complete lecture video.
The Social Entrepreneurship Program, formerly known as the MicroCredit Program, is housed within the Center for International Studies and encompasses microcredit lending and social learning initiatives. The program is dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs who live below the poverty threshold, and provides a unique opportunity to affect meaningful improvement in the lives of the world’s poor through active management of microcredit funds and social development programs.
Since leaving office in 2006, Vicente Fox has been involved in public speaking and in the development of Centro Fox, a center for advancement and studies focused on leadership, democracy, and poverty alleviation.
During the visit, Fox met with Center for International Studies Director Dr. Hans Stockton and Dr. Rogelio Garcia Contreras, Social Entrepreneurship Program faculty advisor. Fox and UST President Dr. Robert Ivany signed an agreement that outlines the collaboration between Centro Fox and the Social Entrepreneurship Program over the next two years. They aim to establish:
· A study abroad program with credit-generating courses for UST students through classes on development, micro finance, economics or any other topic related to poverty alleviation or politics of development. The program would take place in San Cristobal, Guanajuato, Mexico, at the facilities of the Fox Center;
· A revolving fund for the implementation of a microfinance pilot program at a small community in Guanajuato;
· A think tank or network of experts, institutions and universities in the fields of microfinance, development and social entrepreneurship, designating Centro Fox as the network hub.
· An annual forum, a conference or lecture series on social entrepreneurship, microfinance, poverty eradication policies or related topics;
· Coordinating service learning opportunities: Matching UST faculty and students’ know how, research, interest and volunteer work with the specific needs of Centro Fox or any other organization related with Centro Fox;
· Summer Certificate Programs at UST for high school or college students from around the world interested on learning about micro credit, poverty alleviation policies, social entrepreneurship.
For more information on the Social Entrepreneurship Program, visit www.stthom.edu/microcredit or call Dr. Rogelio Garcia-Contreras at 713-525-3538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.