MBA Fulbright to Develop Self-Sustainable Social Enterprise Model for Honey Bee Initiative


For Guillermo Palencia, there is nowhere else he sees himself completing his graduate studies than George Mason School of Business. A Fulbrighter, Palencia says, “George Mason just was the right fit, for me. It wasn’t just about choosing a degree and University, but I was deciding what my cultural experience was going to be like once moving to the United States. George Mason has everything that I was looking for in a University: diversity, size, excellent professors, and proximity to the U.S. capital, just to name a few.”

Guillermo Palencia
 Guillermo Palencia

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for student-designed research projects, while also facilitating the cultural exchange between students and the people of the host country through the sharing of daily experiences. The hope is that the grantee gains an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think.

Since starting the MBA program this fall, Palencia has been working with the Business for a Better World center on its Honey Bee Initiative (HBI), focusing on the pilot project in rural Colombia and developing a self-sustainable social enterprise model for future funding and expansion in South America and beyond.

“He brings his industry experience, mature thinking and team work to the initiative,” says M. Rashed Hasan, executive-in-residence for the Business for a Better World Center at George Mason School of Business. “I am happy to have him on our team and look forward to seeing the results of his excellent contributions to this initiative and to our center.”

Palencia says that his most rewarding experience at Mason so far has been being able to collaborate with the Business for a Better World Center in the School of Business, specifically in the Honey Bee Initiative Program. His interactions with Hasan have had a great impact on him since starting in August. “Knowing that he once came to the U.S from a different culture clicked with me as to why he is passionate about the Business for a Better World Center. I would say he transmitted that to me and made me understand that sometimes we are more alike to others than we think we are,” says Palencia.

Palencia is looking forward to continuing to conduct his studies at Mason. “I’m very proud to be a Fulbrighter and a cultural ambassador from El Salvador, says Palencia. “I look forward to graduating and returning to my country to put all the knowledge and experience gained here to use to create better-living conditions for Salvadorans through innovation in the insurance field.”