Stanford business professor Jim Patell believes that only by knowing  your customers can you sell to them, or hope to help them, which is why  he asks his students to spend spring break in a third world country  doing hands-on market research, like hauling water barefoot through rice  fields alongside an indigenous worker. The target customers a student  is assigned to understand are people who need help and who are typically  considered charity recipients, not paying clientele (such as  impoverished farmers). “The idea,” writes Vince Beiser in Miller-McCune, “is to harness capitalism to solve the problems of the world’s poorest.” Keep reading …

Stanford business professor Jim Patell believes that only by knowing your customers can you sell to them, or hope to help them, which is why he asks his students to spend spring break in a third world country doing hands-on market research, like hauling water barefoot through rice fields alongside an indigenous worker. The target customers a student is assigned to understand are people who need help and who are typically considered charity recipients, not paying clientele (such as impoverished farmers). “The idea,” writes Vince Beiser in Miller-McCune, “is to harness capitalism to solve the problems of the world’s poorest.” Keep reading …