Social Entrepreneurship Through Eco-Enterprise in Turkey 2011


Kashif Ali – Class of 2011, Habib University Foundation in Pakistan

To say that I had a great time in Turkey would be an understatement. This course literally changed my life, my perspectives and my views. Born and raised in Pakistan, and educated in the US, Turkey helped me expand my views to realms I did not know existed. Being in Turkey, I was eased out of my comfort zone by Professor DiCarlo who encouraged me to do things I had never done before. From working on a strawberry farm, to swimming in the Aegean Sea, to hiking in the wild in southern Turkey – I did things I could not have imagined. Lisa’s excellent knowledge of Turkish culture and history coupled with her excellent grasp of the Turkish language enabled us to immerse ourselves completely in Turkey. I don’t think there could have been a better way to experience Turkey.

The course itself was extremely interesting and provided for a hands-on opportunity to experience social entrepreneurship in Turkey. Our interactions with social entrepreneurs helped me grasp perspectives that would not have been available in any textbook. The lessons I learnt will accompany me throughout my life. Coupled with this knowledge, I feel ready to take on any social challenge to better my country!

Dunk Visutthithada Class of 2012 – now at Singapore Management University

 “Turkey: Environmental Awareness & Social Responsibility through Eco-enterprise” taught me lessons on social entrepreneurship and women empowerment via field study. It was through field study that I was able to capture the true essence of Turkish culture and the course objectives.   My experience with the Strawberry Initiative introduced me the lifestyle of a social entrepreneur. I have always understood the concept of social entrepreneurship as, “doing good socially and doing well profitably.” I witnessed the impact it has brought to the local community through the creation of jobs and the awakening of Turkish pride for local harvest. The physical act of digging and plowing the strawberry seeds allowed me to engage in field study to its fullest.  This experience would not have been possible without Lisa DiCarlo. She led us beyond her duties as a teacher by playing the roles of a local guide and friend. Without her, my opportunity to visit Turkey to immerse in its culture and study social entrepreneurship would be a journey I would not see myself taking. I can now check it off my bucket list and say that the trip was, “SO Good.” Şerefe and teşekkürler, Lisa.

Zak Barry-Babson College class of 2012 now in Hawaii, entrepreneur

I’m going to be honest: I came to college with the intention to start a business in order to get rich. It wasn’t until the end of my freshman year, after several months of numbers, concepts, networking, that an offshore course in Turkey changed everything for me. Lisa helped me to realize how much more exciting it was to use business as a tool to drive social change. The theme of Lisa’s offshore course was social responsibility and eco-enterprise with a focus on environmental awareness and empowerment of women. One project we had the opportunity to participate in was working with local female entrepreneurs who grew strawberries to support themselves as well as save an indigenous fruit. What was special about how Lisa designed this course is that we first participated in fieldwork and then went on to brainstorm solutions that would ensure the sustainability of these projects. It was different than any other course I have ever taken because she simply provided a framework for us to work in and left us with a lot of freedom. By creating this open environment it really pushed us to think critically about solutions to real-world problems and for me it taught me a lot about myself. The culmination of Lisa’s guidance, class discussions, and this interactive approach to learning not only changed the way I look at problems, but also opened my eyes to the world of social entrepreneurship and the boundless opportunities available in this field.