Mendoza School of Business

Meyer Business on the Frontlines Program

Building Livelihoods by Building Businesses

The Meyer Business on the Frontlines Program is rooted in the belief that there is dignity in work and that all people can be empowered to contribute to society. The program utilizes the dynamic skills of business to address issues including post-conflict rehabilitation, poverty, illicit economies, isolation, and prejudice.

MBA and other graduate students from across the university explore key themes together such as empathy, barriers to work, identity and mindset while partnering with action-oriented organizations to find local solutions that create jobs or set the conditions for economic growth. Through this experience, students embark on a journey of discovery to broaden their worldview and envision new possibilities.

Student Experience

Each course in the Meyer Business on the Frontlines Program provides a unique experiential, service learning opportunity through collaboration on projects with partners in the field to build stable and prosperous communities. Through each course, students can expect to:

Student Impact: In Their Own Words

Hear and read what past Notre Dame MBA students have to say about their experience in Business on the Frontlines, and the impact it had on them.

Terrell Hunt '19

“The only way to really describe it is that it has been the culminating event of my entire MBA career.”

A group of men and women stand in front of a desk

Erin Wehe '18

“To be able to take the framework that we learned in Mendoza and the framework that BOTFL then ingrains in us further, and actually apply that to something that’s really making a difference in people’s lives, it’s huge.” Read More

A woman instructs a man in how to sew

Paul Freehill '19

“If you’ve been fortunate enough to take BOTFL, you know it’s a perspective-shattering experience, a reflection on business as a discipline, an exploration of its impact on the world, and an examination of your role within it.” Read More

Course Offerings

BOTFL examines the impact of business in societies affected by deep poverty, illicit economies, and conflict. The course partners students with NGOs and for-profit companies to harness the dynamism of business with a goal of creating jobs or setting the economic conditions for growth. Students engage in the core themes of dignity of work and the challenge of development while digging into their communities. BOTFL has served in 28 countries across 5 continents.

FIA is motivated by a deep conviction that business can play a role in uncovering solutions that promote societal change, stability, and opportunity in the United States. We will explore the barriers to the dignity of work such as inequality, violence, addiction, and prejudice as well as the resilience of the American people both in the classroom and with partners afield during an immersive community visit.

Frontline Engagements continues to serve on-going and new potential partners that also work with the BOTFL course. Project work will focus on serving partners in Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America, while exploring themes including illicit economies, deep poverty, and post-conflict rehabilitation.

This course was designed for students who have both a desire to serve those in need as well as to explore more deeply the themes of prejudice, poverty, and violence facing many in our local area. We will meet once weekly in the classroom while also traveling to partner communities each week to uncover impactful business solutions for these challenges.

In the 2022-23 academic year, the program will offer the following courses.

Business on the Frontlines (BOTFL)8Full Semester + Two Weeks in the FieldInternational
Frontlines in America (FIA)43/4 Semester + One Week in the FieldDomestic
Frontline Engagements (FE)2Half Semester + One Week in the FieldInternational
Ways of Rebuilding Community (WORC)2Half Semester + Weekly Community VisitsSouth Bend, Indiana

Course Partners

BOTFL has expanded our partnerships to include not only international NGOs such as Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps and World Vision, but also multinational corporations like Accenture, Newmont Mining, and General Electric. We have also partnered with the US Army Special Operations Command around training and joint problem solving regarding conflict prevention in the field. Multinational corporations, humanitarian organizations, and the armed forces all have a clear stake in developing long-term stability and robust communities.

Past Projects

Since 2008, Meyer Business on the Frontlines Program students have worked on more than 80 projects ranging across industries including Mining, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Social Enterprise, and Education. Students who participate not only contribute to the solution of some of the world’s most pressing problems but gain insight and skills that carry forward to successful careers after they graduate.

Exploring Opportunities in Urban Farming

The Gary Comer Youth Center on Chicago’s southside asked the Frontlines in America team to focus its work on the utilization of the urban farm to create a social enterprise.

Increasing Market Opportunities for Disadvantaged Women in the West Bank

The BOTFL team was asked to assist in creating an investment plan to substantially expand operations in artisanal production of textiles, in particular, of educational children’s toys. Special focus was needed on identifying potential markets, optimizing the current supply chain, evaluating potential funding sources, and supporting grant submission and writing.

Setting Conditions for Economic Growth through Renewable Energy

Business on the Frontlines partnered with Apenco, a private Tunisian power and engineering company, to develop its strategy to best capitalize on renewable energy opportunities in Tunisia’s relatively uncertain energy environment.

Mendoza School of Business
Mendoza School of Business

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