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Global Links

Empowering Women Through Education & Entrepreneurship

Congratulations to our new Global Links Scholar from India - Dr. Rumpa Chakraborty. Dr. Chakraborty joins the program from Shri Shikshayatan College, and she has extensive experience working with the entrepreneurial community in India including being a member of the National Entrepreneurship Network. Dr. Chakraborty brings with her a great deal of enthusiasm and passion, and we look forward to sharing more about our new Scholar in early 2017!

October 2016 the Global Links Program officially bid farewell to outgoing Scholar Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee, who hosted a closing ceremony at the American Center with her student participants and the U.S. Consulate General Kolkata where she recognized everyone for their impact on the program and commitment to change lives of local business women. Dr. Banerjee said “The Global Links experience has led me through challenges and given me many more rewards. My experience at Rollins College and Tupperware Brands was pleasantly enriching”.

On behalf of the Global Links Program founding partners and supporters, a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Banerjee for her outstanding efforts and commitment to empowering women through education and entrepreneurship! Join us as The Global Links program takes a look back at the outstanding achievements of Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee – a forever champion and friend dedicated to uplifting women and changing lives!


Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee, a Professor of Business at the University of Calcutta


"According to the International Finance Corporation Report, there are nearly three million micro, small, and medium enterprises with full or partial female ownership in India...Through the 'learn and return' model we hope to inspire a new generation of social impact focused female entrepreneurs in India."
—Rick Goings, Chairman and CEO, Tupperware Brands.

The Global Links program is a public private partnership founded in 2011 between the U.S. Secretary of State's Office of Global Women's Issues, Rollins College and Tupperware Brands.

The Global Links program is a cross-cultural exchange program for high achieving female scholars in developing and post-conflict countries. The nine to twelve month program involves in-depth business training in social entrepreneurship and practical business skills in the United States. After this training the scholars return to their home country, and integrate their new business education curriculum at their university. An integral part of the underlying philosophy of the train the trainer model involves students going into communities and mentoring women in starting or scaling their own businesses.


The Global Links program expanded to India with our first scholar Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee from the University of Calcutta. Dr. Banerjee arrived in the United States (U.S.) in early 2015 where she began her in-depth course work and cutting-edge social entrepreneurship training at Rollins College.  Upon completion of the academic training, she participated in an externship with Tupperware Brands where she acquired practical experience and business fundamentals, while building relationships with professionals across all functions of the company.  While in the U.S. Dr. Banerjee attended the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles annual event and spoke at an AshokaU conference about the importance of entrepreneurship in emerging economies upon her return to India.

Dr. Banerjee has since returned back to India where she is immersed in phase two of the Global Links program - “Train the Trainer Activation”. To date, she has reached more than 400 students and 50 faculty through nine social entrepreneurship workshops. Her partnership with Bandhan Bank of Kolkata, India, will provide support to female loan recipients operating their enterprises. In May of 2016, she held a Student-Business Women event, hosted by The American Centre in India, where students provided influential stakeholders with key learnings and future program goals on empowering women. Dr. Banerjee continues to make lasting contributions to Calcutta University and her community by activating program-based learning in her community. She is committed to helping women in India defeat the cultural, societal and educational barriers to labor force entry and economic empowerment, while working to eliminate female discrimination and gender inequality.

Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee will return to the U.S. in the spring of 2017 with five of her students who participated in phase two of the program. They will participate in a 2-week immersion experience in social entrepreneurship and American culture with Rollins College and Tupperware Brands.


The goal is to catalyze women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship in India by creating a coalition of businesses, leading academic institutions and NGO partners with the support of the U.S. Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues to reach at least 10 scholars in India.

"By working across sectors, we can give future generations of Indian women entrepreneurs the opportunity to become leaders in business and throughout Indian society."
— Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues


1. A competitive application process that targets female business scholars for a year of best-in-class business training in social entrepreneurship with a Global Links' educational partner and a hands-on externship at the sponsoring corporations' headquarters or national offices.

2. After this rigorous course and training, the selected scholar returns to her home country and implements the curriculum at her university. Part of the interactive curriculum requires students to act as mentors for women-owned businesses and women entering the workforce in their community. This step is based on the train the trainer model. This model provides social issue flexibility for partners looking to create shared value because the curriculum can be tailored to address a multitude of barriers facing women in the economy including: access to small business expertise, basic financial education tools, basic job skills requirements, specialized training (e.g. IT, manufacturing) etc.

3. The scholar and her students work with a local NGO partner to implement economic empowerment projects with women small business owners on the ground.

4. Returning to the United States after a successful year of implementation, the scholar and a selection of her most promising students attend meetings and provide insight to the U.S. State Department about their experience and the measurable impact of the program and its multiplier effect.

5. The scholar returns to her home country to open a career center where she will be able to disseminate the best practice principles to her students and women-owned businesses. The scholar will be able to further advocate for women's issues by embedding in her course curricula. The scholar will also remain a spokesperson for the Global Links program.



The Scholar: Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee, Department of Business Management, University of Calcutta, India

Year: 2015-2017

Education Partner: Rollins College

Activity Partner: Bandhan Bank

Corporate Partner: Tupperware Brands

To Date: Dr. Banerjee has partnered with Bandhan Bank to provide support to female loan recipients operating their enterprises.  She has reached more than 400 students and 50 faculty members through various workshops which focus on empowering women.




The Scholar: Dr. Amel Abed Mohammed Ali, Department of Industrial Management of Babylon University's College of Administration & Economics, Iraq.

Year: 2012-2013

Education Partner: Rollins College

NGO Partner: Women for Women International

Corporate Partner: Tupperware Brands

To date: Dr. Mohammed has established a career center at her university. Her business students have now mentored 75 women in business skills in their communities in Baghdad and Karbala.