New Market Research for the Non-Profit AYUDA

Hannah Cheney (MIM), Rae Akinsanya (MIM), Josh Pikus (MIM), Nick Roy (MBA), Alex Tinios (MBA)

Title: New Market Research for the Non-Profit AYUDA

Subject Area: International volunteer programming, Non-Profit, Education, Healthcare

Company: AYUDA

Region: Latin America

Industry: Non-profit health education and international volunteer programming

Client: Nick Cuttriss, Melanie Goldring, Arianna Tuomey

BE-EDGE Synchronization


In the fall of 2019, Nick Cuttriss, the co-founder and chairman of the Board of Directors for Americans Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad (AYUDA), needed to find a new market that required its resources and capabilities after a successful education program in the Dominican Republic. The US-based non-profit organization was continuing to grow in its mission to help children and their families living with diabetes in the Dominican Republic. If AYUDA was not proactive in procuring a new country for their programming, there would be a significant delay between when they leave the Dominican Republic and when they are up and running for the next group of volunteers in-country.

``Making Your Case`` As A Stepping Stone

Investment to Personal Capital: Elucidating CORE

AYUDA operates in the non-profit space which Hanna, Josh, and Rae are very much interested in.

  • Hannah: I really feel strongly about wanting to enact positive change in the world, and I feel as though this organization works to do just that. I think it is a necessary resource for diabetes communities who have limited access to knowledge about how to live with the condition and how to manage their life in a healthy way.
  • Rae: In the context of my interest in marketing the interesting part of the dilemma for me was the choice of the expansion country being a potential marketing strategy to excite and reinvigorate their volunteer and donor base.
  • Josh: Although healthcare is not a particular field of interest for me, they are contributing to the greater good. This project was an excellent opportunity for me to dive into something that I care about and genuinely try to help an organization that helps others.
  • Nick: I was really interested in working with the medical/health team because it is the current industry I am in. I immediately found buy-in to the project proposed by Hannah and felt that this cause was a great use of my energy.
  • Alex: This project is relevant to my career as a pharmacist. In my career I have seen patients in the primary care clinic to help manage their diabetes. Diabetes patients are complicated and many patients are uneducated, leading to medication errors and potential hospitalizations. This project made a personal connection with me as I have worked with the same patients that AYUDA works with.


Investment to Social Capital: Embedding in the Company and Industry

Our main connection with the company was our teammates, Hannah and Josh. Hannah personally worked at the company and she collected internal details, with the permission of the client. Josh also personally talked with several employees. As a team, we wanted to understand the issues that those that are in the company face in order to properly come to a recommendation that would actually be viable. One of the most important aspects of being a consultant and a leader is to also be a listener. Also, as a nonprofit, most of their information was required to be publicly accessible, which made it easy to find any necessary financial information. We did a deep dive of secondary research into the markets of Argentina and Mexico to see if these would be viable options for AYUDA’s next markets. What impressed us most was how two people (the co-founders of AYUDA) made such a strong impact on the children in the Dominican Republic. It goes to show you that one person can really make a difference.

Investment to Professional Capital: Adding Value

By analyzing the organization and the two potential new markets through various frameworks we learned in class such as SWOT, PESTEL, and different global strategies and entry modes, we determined that the best course of action for AYUDA would be to expand into the Argentinian market in the next few years. We used our international business knowledge as well as in-depth research to come to this conclusion, and hopefully the nonprofit can use this research when deciding what their next steps are as an organization. We were able to come to conclusions about which market might be the best for AYUDA going forward in order to ensure success. It was important for us to make sure that I used frameworks we used in class in order to give recommendations that were based in supported logic.

Capital Utilization: Developing Tools for the Future

This project was a perfect example of how we can apply my international business knowledge to organizations that are trying to do work that results in a positive impact on the world. This is what each of us said while reflecting on our journey:

  • Hannah: “I feel that this project was an important part of my journey in becoming a global manager. Having the skills to create a consultancy report such as the one we worked on this semester is essential for understanding how to analyze different markets around the world while simultaneously understanding each area’s unique culture and customs. I learned so much about my organization as well as the two markets we studied extensively and will bring this knowledge with me into my future career. I am happy to have learned these various frameworks that I can use to breakdown various organizations and markets, and feel that these elements are some of the most important topics I have learned this entire semester throughout my various classes.”
  • Josh: “Going forward, I will be able to show potential employers that I have the knowhow and skill to be able to do research and recommend strategy backed by this research.”
  • Rae: “I plan to use this experience soon actually. For a full-time position, I’ve been asked to send in samples of my Northeastern work and, if it’s group project based, to describe the extent of my involvement. I plan on sending the Argentina section as well as my SWOT analyses of both Argentina and Mexico. I’m hoping that this project will help me land the position. Besides, I’ve shared the SWOT internal/external matching with my boss at my internship and she loved it and it’s something they’re going to start implementing that when they conduct their quarterly SWOT analyses.”
  • Nick: “I plan on using this as a professional steppingstone through the confidence it has given me to be able to write up a case study. Truthfully, prior to doing this firsthand, I thought case study authors had transcendental intelligence levels and that I did not. This case, and the entire course, showed me that there was a formula I could learn and apply, and that it wasn’t a supernatural ability. Rather, it was the ability to focus on an important topic, determine the best framework to fit to it, and proceed in calculated steps.”
  • Alex: “I plan to utilize this experience I had with my classmates to better myself and make myself a stronger candidate for a pharmaceutical company. I think this course has shed light on how people, especially in developed nations, need our help. We as health care professionals can travel and help young children who don’t have the same privileges that we have in America. I learned how different the varying cultures are from America and this will make me a stronger candidate when I apply for an international job, outside the United States.

AYUDA Expansion Decision:

Hannah Cheney (MIM), Rae Akinsanya (MIM), Josh Pikus (MIM), Nick Roy (MBA), Alex Tinios (MBA)


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