Leeds Graduate Embarks on Adventure with Thriive

Terrence Rouda graduated from Leeds in Spring 2012 with an emphasis in Accounting and a certificate in Real Estate. Terrence took Catherine Milburn’s class, Business Solutions for the Developing World, last spring and continues to pursue his passion for social responsibility through an internship with a multinational economic development organization called Thriive. Rouda feels that the class “will play an integral role” in his success with the internship. “It’s a very exciting opportunity and I’m thrilled to be able to apply my CU education in a field that I’m passionate about,” notes Terrence. terrence rouda smaller

Thriive works in Asia, Africa, and Central America with local entrepreneurs and businesses. Unlike traditional microfinance, they make loans to businesses that are the ‘missing gap’ of capital needs; too large for microfinance and too small for traditional financing. Their loans are expressly intended for businesses to acquire equipment and other assets that will increase their production and manufacturing ability. Also, all the loans are repaid, interest free, by providing a combination of goods, services, and vocational training to those in need. The three goals of Thriive are job creation, business growth, and meaningful charity. Thriive has discovered that after businesses repay their loans, they oftentimes continue to make charitable contributions in their community via goods and services or vocational training.

In September 2012, Terrence left for Hue, Vietnam, where he worked one-on-one with local business to help them improve their business plans and prepare for potential expansion. He traveled throughout Vietnam for three months, visiting and assisting businesses in rural communities as well as in the suburbs of Hanoi. Rouda spent part of his time helping businesses better manage and record their finances to prepare more accurate financial reports. The businesses he worked with ranged from vegetable farmers, to shoe makers, to printers. Another portion of Rouda’s time was devoted to teaching English at Hue University and helping out at a children’s shelter in the area.

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