Emerging Market Initiatives (EMI) is a program which aims to create awareness and new solutions to cope social and environmental issues in emerging economies. The program has involved more than 134 students, coming from 43 Universities placed in at least 29 different countries around the world.

EMI is composed for 4 initiatives: Transforming Small Business (TSB), EMI Workshops, Base of Pyramid (BOP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which drives participants, playing as a consultant, to face an create solutions for small and medium enterprises (SME´s)

Mission and Objectives

Our mission is to teach new ways to do business in order to improve social and environmental issues, aiming to reduce inequity, exclusion, and poverty through SMEs in emerging markets.

Our objectives are to:

  1. form global, creative and responsible leaders
  2. support economic, social and environmental initiatives in SMEs
  3. enhance the role of the private sector in social issues
  4. connect relevant actors for improved results

EMI currently fulfills its mission by training young professionals from around the globe and preparing them for the realities of doing business in emerging markets.  Newly trained consultants then immediately apply their skills by providing consulting services for SMEs in Colombia.  Given that our client companies often lack the resources to pay for such services, we provide them at no cost.


In 1998, the School of Management at the Universidad Externado de Colombia, upon recognizing an opportunity to help alleviate the difficult economic conditions of the country, launched a program focused on training business students in consulting, and supporting bottom-up economic development in Colombia. This program was named Plan Padrinos, (Transforming Small Business (TSB) international version) and has since impacted over 2000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the efforts of nearly 1500 student consultants.

Given the success of Transforming Small Business (TSB), the School expanded its initiatives to include consulting work targeted at instigating best practices in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to meet international standards set by the United Nations Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative and other organizations, as well as to include consulting focused on orienting businesses to produce products and services that serve bottom of the pyramid (BOP) markets; all of these were supported by EMI workshops that trained students in the latest trends and methodologies for application in innovation processes. Going even further, the School has consolidated these initiatives into what is now called Emerging Market Initiatives (EMI) and broadened its purpose to support the responsible economic development and, in so doing, expand knowledge of the emerging market economy.


The outcomes of Emerging Market Initiatives are WIN – WIN.

International volunteers reap incredible rewards by spending their summer working with EMI. For participants, University has some scholarships (Program tuition), according to the number of students; in all the cases participants bear with travel expenses, accommodation, and food. Those interested in gaining unique experience and exposure that will enhance their competitiveness in the labor market will enjoy the following benefits:

-instruction and training on:

  • emerging market conditions and opportunities
  • consulting concepts and practices

-unmatched networking possibilities with participants from around the world and top institutions

-the opportunity to put theory into practice and have an impact

-development of soft skills such as:

  • international working teams
  • leadership and innovative mindset
  • creation and defense of ideas and proposals

-the unique experience of visiting vulnerable communities

-close contact with SMEs from Colombia

Of course, SME´s organizations are benefited enormously as well. As many lack formal business training, permanent policies of innovation, or even the resources to pay for third-party consulting services, client companies gain.

Application Requirements

To qualify for field-visit assistance, you must have already been accepted into EMI and confirmed placement (in one or more projects). You must then submit the next documents:

CV with social background

Completed registration form

EMI July deadline: April 30th, 2018


Contact us to get involved:



(57) 1-342-0288 ext. 1223

School of Management

Universidad Externado de Colombia

Calle 12 # 1-17 este. Bogotá, Colombia

EMI 2018 Agenda

Schedule of EMI March 2018

Schedule of EMI July 2018

Program taught in:
Last updated May 9, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
June 2019
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