East African women from the Womens Bakery holding freshly baked loaves of bread

Best and brightest: Women’s Bakery founder Markey Culver

Poets & Quants, a media outlet covering all things graduate education, featured WashU MBA student and Women’s Bakery founder Markey Culver as one of their Best and Brightest of 2017.

The Women’s Bakery is an international social enterprise that economically empowers East African women by training them to build, operate, manage and sustain their own businesses. The women receive comprehensive training in baking, bookkeeping, packaging and distribution, management, and creating company culture, enabling them to function autonomously and successfully. 

Following are excerpts from Poets & Quant’s Q & A with Culver:

Headshot of women's bakery founder Markey Culver with the Poets & Quants logo superimposed over the image.
Culver

Why did you choose this business school?
I imagine I was a rather atypical applicant to Olin, coming from 3 years of living and working in East Africa and starting a social enterprise in Rwanda. My background was unconventional at best and while I had business experience, it was in my own business. Still, I chose to apply to WashU because I seek to fuse the non-profit and for-profit sectors and Olin’s programs merit such fusion by embracing, incubating and launching entrepreneurs of all kinds. Olin’s robust entrepreneurship platform, too, is supported by a city (St. Louis) with an ever-growing, collaborative startup scene. Moreover, Olin puts emphasis on cultivating the business leader through holistic leadership training (i.e.: sharpening “soft” skills to enhance “hard” skills).

“Olin’s robust entrepreneurship platform, too, is supported by a city (St. Louis)
with an ever-growing, collaborative startup scene.”

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was securing at Olin two separate semester-long practicum courses for The Women’s Bakery. For two years, Olin supported a non-traditional strategic consulting course where students could study and enhance The Women’s Bakery business model. I had the opportunity to take 12 MBAs to Rwanda to visit our work and have engaged both students and faculty in our work – it has been tremendous for our growth and motivating for me.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?
Starting and growing an international social enterprise.

Read the full interview at Poets & Quants.