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Global Business Brigades at WVU is a chapter of Global Business Brigades, an international movement of university students and professionals building economic opportunities in the developing world. We work alongside promising entrepreneurs and experienced year-round staff to create financial opportunities in remote, rural, and under resourced areas of Panama. We work with communities to build community-owned banks to provide access to loans, savings accounts, and financial literacy for community members. Volunteers assist in consulting micro-enterprises, assessing loan capacity payments and providing financial literacy workshops to families. In conjunction with our Business Program, Global Brigades also supports communities with healthcare, sanitation and clean water projects, and uniquely implements these programs in a holistic model to meet a community’s health and economic goals. Our model systematically builds community ownership and collaboratively executes programs with the end goal of sustainably evolving to a relationship of impact monitoring.

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working with an ecotourism client in their hotel spaceworking with an ecotourism client in their hotel space

bri·gade (n): a group of individuals organized for a particular purpose.

Global Brigades is an international non-profit that uses its unique Holistic Model to help communities meet their healthcare and economic goals. 

How does business fit in? 

Business Brigades works with rural communities to create a sustainable and accessible banking system that is owned by the community. Community members can create checking accounts, savings accounts, and even take out small loans from the banks. 

Loans can be used to invest in small businesses, as a down-payment on home improvements (such as a sanitation station), for education, or anything else community members want. Loans from community banks carry a much lower interest rate than loans from traditional banks, and all the money stays in the community, making it readily available for other members of the community!

Business Brigades empowers rural communities and changes lives, all with the help of university volunteers.

                                                                     business icon    microfinance icon



Holistic Model

Holistic Model

The Holistic Model is the guiding principle behind all of Global Brigades' programs. 

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Business Brigades Impact

Global Business Brigades Impact

$102,579,641 raised, 239 partner communities, and 11 Empowered Communities. How has Business Brigades impacted communities?

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Panama Brigade 2019

When on brigade, we are often placed with other schools' programs and get to learn from and alongside those students as well. In 2019, in Puerto Lara, we had the pleasure of traveling with University of Florida and Penn State University.



For more about Global Brigades, check out their home page.

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