February 21, 2011
The Biotechnology for a Sustainable Development in Africa (BDA) foundation and HEC Montreal, a business school affiliated with Université de Montréal have signed a partnership agreement that will offer internships to HEC Montreal students willing to support the BDA entrepreneurship program training African entrepreneurs producing medicinal plants in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). First interns are expected for May 2011.
The agreement will enable HEC Montreal students from B.B.A, D.E.S.S. (specialized graduate diplomas), M.Sc. or MBA programs to develop their skills related to the problematic regarding sustainable development and cooperation in Africa, by mentoring the BDA Ecopreneurs of the Plant Action program and by helping the foundation for its management and activities.
The Plant Action Program, currently offered in DRC (host of the 2012 Francophonie Summit), is animated by the Trade-not-Aid philosophy. It’s an innovative program endorsed by the United Nations that has been many times held as an example by organizations dedicated to promote sustainable development. This program has already generated interest upon other African countries as its main characteristic is to make sure than local populations get economic and social benefits from their own natural resources while encouraging reforestation and ecosystem protection.
As stated by Carole Robert, BDA foundation co-founder and chairman of the board: “I am delighted that HEC Montreal partners with us to promote sustainable development and its management adapted to developing countries, especially since the Foundation project was born at HEC Montreal during my MBA.”
According to Jacques Fortin, Director of Sustainable Campus at HEC Montreal: “It’s natural, looking at the importance of sustainable development that takes place into our teaching, research, management practices and student community, that we acknowledge, through our support, the contribution of collective welfare organizations which, like BDA, have business model based on sustainable development and social economics.”
The BDA foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support scientific cooperation and provide technical training and support as well as initiating biotechnological entrepreneurship projects related to culture of medicinal, nutraceutical and cosmetical plants in a sustainable development perspective. Through its Plant Action program in DRC, the foundation trains African “Ecopreneurs”, men and women, able to play an active and leading role in the development of their communities through the industrial and responsible culture of value-added plants that respects international quality standards. This project is looking for the cultivation of African medicinal plants respecting international quality standards and has a triple bottom line, meaning economic, social and environmental benefits, by supporting the creation of “ecobusinesses” that will generate revenue, create jobs and be integrated in a profitable and fair economic sector while promoting environment protection.
HEC Montreal is an international business school whose exceptional teaching and research, combined with its relevance and drive for innovation, have allowed it to stand out since 1907. An appreciation of the world’s cultures, ethical behavior, academic excellence, leadership and entrepreneurship are some of the qualities HEC Montreal coveys to its students. HEC Montreal is committed to sustainable development for several years through its "Sustainable Campus".
For more information about the BDA foundation and the Plant Action program:
Anne-Pascale Richardson | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bdafoundation.org
For more information about HEC Montreal and its sustainable development program:
Jacques Fortin, Sustainable development Director | 514 340 6048 | www.hec.ca