LEADER is a student-driven overseas economic development program. It was founded in 1991 by MBA students from the Ivey Business School with the mandate of empowering promising entrepreneurs in frontier markets to envision, launch, and/or scale new ventures. Through this approach LEADER aims to enable high-potential individuals to develop local business solutions that create opportunities for their communities.
Each year, LEADER sends a team of Ivey students to a number of sites, where they teach foundational business administration and entrepreneurial skills. Volunteer instructors from the MBA, HBA, MSc and PhD programs take part in a mutually beneficial experience that allows them to build a unique skill set.
Since its inception, LEADER has provided thousands of promising business people with the analytical tools and decision-making skills to improve local economic conditions. The participants have gone on to launch successful entrepreneurial ventures in media, finance, professional services, and many other industries.
LEADER now has a network of more than 500 instructor alumni (LEADERites), all graduates of the Ivey Business School. Many occupy some of the most senior roles at the world's largest banks, management consulting firms, and NGOs, and credit the cross-cultural and leadership skills they developed while on LEADER for their professional success.