New Global Links Scholar Hopes to Spark Change in Brazil


February 6, 2019 - by Jake Rakoci

The first Global Links scholar from Brazil, Dr. Denise Delboni, is hoping to bring back ideas of social entrepreneurship and innovation to her home country.


In Brazil, Dr. Denise Delboni says the ideas of social entrepreneurship are just starting to pop up in colleges and universities, bringing her hope and a desire to make a positive impact among students.

“In the last two or three years, the situation has changed a lot,” said Dr. Delboni, the newly arrived Global Links Scholar from Brazil.

Dr. Delboni, a professor of Law and Labor and Employment Relations at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) and Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM) in São Paulo, Brazil, has noticed a shift in thinking among the new generation of students at her respective universities.

She’s finding that many of the students aren’t paying as much attention to how much money they can make, but more so to how they can contribute to a better Brazil and feel fulfillment in their careers.

“The students at university are paying more attention to the poverty levels in Brazil, and we are starting to talk more about it and what we can do,” said Dr. Delboni. “We have to spend more time thinking about problems like poverty, because it’s hurting the economy as a whole. The new generation is calling attention to this and know they have to do something to stop this.”

When Dr. Delboni saw the application calling for a Global Links scholar from Brazil, she knew this was exactly the experience she needed to approach female entrepreneurship. Especially because in Brazil, where 4 in 10 families are led by a woman, 41% of those women work as entrepreneurs, according to PNAD, research conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Statistics and Geography.

“After a certain age of doing the same work every day, you need to be a little bit more open minded, go to different places and learn different things. This is exactly what I was looking for when I applied for Global Links. After a short-time on campus, I am confident about my decision” said Dr. Delboni.

The Global Links program, started in 2011, is a public-private partnership between the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, Tupperware Brands, and the U.S. Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. While Dr. Delboni is the fourth scholar to participate in Global Links, this is the first year the program has extended its reach to South America and selected a scholar from Brazil.

During Phase 1 of Dr. Delboni’s program, she will be very visible at the Crummer Graduate School of Business and on the Rollins College campus, engaging in graduate-level curriculum and social entrepreneurship training.

Once she completes her curriculum, she will then have an externship at Tupperware Brands corporate headquarters in Orlando, getting experiential day-to-day business experience.

After that, she will return back to her home universities in Brazil this summer to start implementing social change in her community, including training students who will eventually return with her to Rollins.  

In all, the ripple impact of the program will reach thousands of people in Brazil and in the United States.  

In the short time she has been here on campus, she has already learned a great deal.

First off, she had no idea how friendly and welcoming everyone would be. She was greeted upon arriving at the airport to a big sign welcoming her to the United States.

“I expected it to be much more formal here,” said Dr. Delboni, “I was so surprised how the Americans are so far. I thought they would be more closed off, but everyone has been so friendly, and I feel at home.”

One of the things that immediately stood out to her when she got to campus was the diversity she saw when she was walking around.

“I was so surprised to see all different cultures of people when I arrived on the campus,” said Dr. Delboni.

A more impressive aspect and something she hopes to bring back with her to Brazil has been the engagement students have in the community outside of the classrooms.

She was able to take part in the MLK Day of Service where she tagged along with students volunteering for the day at a local elementary school. She was blown away by how the students took initiative on the project without receiving a grade or under the supervision of a professor.

“It was interesting to see all the students together, no professors, doing good for the community. That is something I would like to see in Brazil,” said Dr. Delboni.

Looking ahead, Dr. Delboni is excited to see the Victory Cup Competition and other events like the Venture Plan Competition.

“I’m so surprised that all the companies and businesses I have seen participating are incorporating some level of social entrepreneurship in their mission,” said Dr. Delboni.

There is so much more to learn, as she will be assimilating on campus for the rest of the semester before heading to Tupperware Headquarters.

If you see her on campus, don’t be afraid to say hi and strike up a conversation with her, as she says she really enjoys meeting everyone.

“It’s so important for me to be a part of this. I’m anxious and excited for all these activities coming up in Phase 1,” said Dr. Delboni


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