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U-M Ross Business + Impact
U-M Ross Business + Impact
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Twelve MBAs Hit the Open Road

Three teams of four MBAs each are preparing to embark on road trips across America in May. They’re part of Open Road at Ross – Powered by Ford, an action-based social entrepreneurship program developed by Ross students for Ross students. Each team will spend the month of May visiting a new social enterprise every week–meeting business owners on the weekend, analyzing their business during the week, and presenting findings and solutions by Friday.

The program, in its fourth year, is popular at Ross, and recently got support from the Ford Motor Company This student-run program is co-sponsored by Business+Impact and is designed to equip social entrepreneurs who are making a positive social impact in their communities with the business acumen needed to thrive.

Keep an eye on this website and on the Open Road at Ross website for further details on routes and enterprises with which they will work.

Team LOVA (Katerina Athanasiou, Minsoo Lyo, Catherine O’Donnell, and Hana Viswanathan) look forward to partnering with entrepreneurs working to build resources and uplift people throughout the Appalachian region. We want to support places and spaces that are oftentimes neglected by public attention, yet face urgent challenges–from the opioid epidemic to environmental impacts of coal mining. They’re excited to bring to bear their depth of experience across many industries and functions to help entrepreneur partners manage and grow their businesses–while learning a great deal from them in the process. The team will visit Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (Detroit), Appalachian Headwaters (Lewisburg, WV),  Black Sheep Bakery at Hemphill Community Center (Neon, KY), and Tech Goes Home (Chatanooga, TN).


Team MPower (Brooke Burton, Chloe Hull, Gautam Kandlikar, and Fernando Palhares) bring backgrounds in Finance, Technology, Strategy, and Social Impact, to small businesses that are the dynamic engines of growth and opportunity. This team will begin at Klassic Mobile Gardens (Detroit), The Chattery (Chattanooga, TN), The Root Cafe (Little Rock, AR), and T-Town Tacos (Tulsa, OK).

Read blog posts about Team MPower’s experiences:

Team RAIK (Ritesh Kumar, Allie Morbitzer, Kathy Tian, and Ivy Wei) are moved by their interest in helping immigrant-owned businesses become successful in a competitive business arena. They will visit Bandhu Gardens (Detroit), Red Calaca Studio (Charlotte, NC), Wake up Atlanta (Atlanta, GA) and Tulsa Newcomer Services (Tulsa, OK).

Track the teams on Instagram by searching #RossOpenRoad

See all the action in our photo album

Professional and personal photos from each team’s journey are available in our Flickr album.

See photos »