Three teams of students in Professor Garrick Apollon's ADM 3718 - Commerce international course worked on a term project aiming to convince Canadian companies to invest and to buy Haiti's fair-trade cocoa products to make chocolate and chocolate products. The students' challenge was organized according to the format of the television show, "The Apprentice." The students had to submit a written report and make an oral presentation to an evaluation committee. The committee members (on the picture) were Carlo Sévère, Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti; Carl Apollon, President of the Groupe Intercal; Frantz Liautaud, Haiti's Ambassador to Canada; Ms. Carré, Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti; Jennifer Williams, CEO, Camino; and Professor Garrick Apollon. Congratulations to the members of the challenge-winning team, which included students Asmaâ Alaoui, Soufiane Bakas, Julie Bédard, Chris Daccache, Reda Laalaj and Mehdi Rais!
As Professor Apollon explained, it is not common for students to be required to make a presentation before an ambassador and the CEO of a Canadian coop like Camino. "I was nervous for them and I am proud of their accomplishments and their work. I also want to express my deep appreciation to the judges, who generously gave more than half a workday to this Telfer School project," said Professor Apollon.
Inspired by his experience with Professor Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Professor Apollon decided to have his students work on a real project of a "social nature." Because the United States government recently announced that it will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Haiti through USAID for the development of Haiti's cocoa industry, it is realistic to think that the Telfer School students' project might have convinced Canadian businesses to invest in Haiti. The project also aimed to make Telfer School students aware of their power to change the world because all too often, people think that only charitable donations and humanitarian projects create lasting changes in developing countries like Haiti. However, the response is also in the promotion of responsible foreign investments and fair trade, and Telfer School students have the training to fulfil this mission.