The Herald Bulletin

December 30, 2013

Applying business concepts for social good in Africa

By Colleen Grile
For The Herald Bulletin

---- — One of the most popular buzz phrases in business today is “social entrepreneurship.” This term can be applied to any business with a primary driver other than profit.

At Anderson University, the Falls School of Business has coupled social entrepreneurship with service-learning in its support for the Tumaini (Swahili for “hope”) AIDS Prevention Program, or TAPP.

TAPP is a nonprofit organization that empowers women suffering with AIDS in Uganda through employment. The women in Uganda create hand-made jewelry, bags and other crafts that they sell to earn a living. In turn, the women are able to receive medical treatment, send their children to school and establish sustainable lifestyles.

TAPP was created in Uganda almost 10 years ago to give the women honest employment and to help them create communities where they can find affirmation, encouragement and love in the midst of the AIDS epidemic.

Anderson University adopted the United States offices of TAPP three years ago. The Falls School of Business currently hosts the TAPP program and plays an important role in its success. The Falls School of Business assists with creating a market in the United States for TAPP’s Ugandan-made products.

The TAPP program fits the definition of service-learning and helps students take the service-learning concept to a global stage. TAPP provides opportunities for students to learn and practice business concepts that will benefit our neighbors in Uganda.

It also enables students to take the skills they are already learning in their classes with the Falls School of Business every day and apply them to TAPP as they work on aspects of the program such as accounting, web and graphic design, public relations and business management.

TAPP is student-run and faculty-supervised. This year, TAPP welcomed Jill Merle as the latest faculty advisor. She is excited to start the newest chapter in TAPP’s history, a chapter that will include new elements focusing on greater community involvement, more connections with local stores and relationship building with the women in Uganda.

Those working with TAPP are looking forward to being more involved in the Anderson community in the future. To see what the AU students have been working on and to find out the latest about the TAPP program, visit twww.tapphope.com or email to tapp@anderson.edu.

Colleen Grile is a sophomore nonprofit management major at Anderson University. She is also one of the interns working with TAPP this year.