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Thunderbird and the Business Development Center in Jordan launch business education initiative

October 15, 2008

A grant from the United States Agency for International Development -USAID to the Business Development Center in Jordan, will fund a partnership with Thunderbird School of Global Management to offer business training programs for Jordanian executives and entrepreneurs. The partnership, funded by a grant of $1.6 million dollars, will bring Thunderbird's leading business education expertise into Jordan through executive training, scholarships for Jordanian students, and specialized training for Jordanian business owners.

With the BDC grant, Thunderbird will launch Project Artemis Jordan in October 2009. Artemis is a business training program the school founded in 2005 to educate female entrepreneurs. The program provides women with entrepreneurial training, coaching, mentoring and access to resources that allow them to start or grow small businesses in their homeland.

This advanced course held at Thunderbird’s Glendale, Ariz., campus, will be open to 30 high-potential women. In addition to the Artemis program, Thunderbird will be offering multiple in-country seminars based in Jordan that will be open to 60-80 women.

“The opportunities surrounding Project Artemis as it expands are prodigious. Accessing the entrepreneurial spirit of women is an engine for growth that goes beyond the delivery of aid and allows women creative space to empower themselves,” notes Melissa Beran Samuelson, program director for Thunderbird’s Project Artemis Jordan.

Along with these women’s entrepreneurship and leadership training programs, the grant also will fund mid-level management, skill-building programs for men and women, as well as the expansion of the “Friends of Success” consulting program and the youth empowerment Maharat Program. .

“We’re excited to expand on our successful strategic partnership with Thunderbird by providing these critically important new global business programs,” said Mr. Nayef Stetieh, president & CEO of BDC. “Thunderbird has a distinguished history of preparing business professionals for international success. The BDC, through USAID funding, is proud to empower Jordanian professionals to take their businesses global with Thunderbird’s acclaimed educational programs. In addition, the new programs will complement BDC’s export development offerings as well as institutional capacity building services we provide to Jordanian SMEs.”

The mid-level management program, taught by Thunderbird professors, will be held through the Spring of 2009 at the BDC. A course for small and midsize enterprise owners will also occur at the BDC in conjunction with this program.

With the BDC grant, business owners in Jordan will receive three weeks of business consultation from the BDC “Friends of Success” program. Through that program, Thunderbird students travel to Jordan for three weeks to provide business consultation on market strategies, business plans, streamlining procedures and policies, financial management, accessing international markets and increasing exports. This successful partnership has been expanded to provide Thunderbird students internship opportunities in Jordan during the spring and summer 2009 trimesters as they continue their work as consultants or follow up on implementation and analysis.

Through the grant funded Maharat program, graduate-level Jordanian students at the BDC will come to Thunderbird for a trimester to earn nine credits and a Certificate of Global Studies. Upon receiving their certificate, the students will travel back to Jordan to work for companies using their new-found business skills.

“Thunderbird is looking forward to extending its global reach in the Middle East through this partnership with the BDC,” said Thunderbird President Ángel Cabrera. “By investing in education and economic empowerment in developing countries, the school’s goal is to change lives and create lasting benefit. In the BDC we have partners who share this goal and who have already had a tremendous impact on the lives of many young Jordanians. We look forward to helping the BDC take their programs to a new level and are thrilled to be working with such a superb partner that is deeply committed to making a difference through management education.”