Magdalene Mbaga learned first hand how important entrepreneurship is in Africa as a Peace Corp volunteer in northern Tanzania. Almost everyone in her village had at least one small enterprise going, and some had three or four. She says entrepreneurship is second nature there and people are always working to improve their businesses with new skills and ideas. That's why when Magdalene took a training course on how to raise chickens she found people very excited to hear about what she and her counterparts had learned. Just like at PFS, she shared her knowledge with colleagues at the school where she taught and they started a chicken keeping cooperative. When all was said and done there were nine families raising chickens for food or to sell for extra income.
Before joining the Peace Corp, Magdalene, a St. Paul native, worked with immigrants at a law firm in Minneapolis and for the Department of Homeland Security. She has a degree in Global Studies from the University of Minnesota and is also a certified ESL teacher. She speaks German and Swahili.
Now that Magdalene lives in Minnesota again she's thought about having a backyard chicken coop. However, Charles Mbaga, who took the chicken training course with her in Tanzania, is now her husband and isn't all that excited about urban chickens in cages. He'd much prefer to have a free range flock, like they had back in Tanzania. Inspired by the entrepreneurship she learned from in Africa, Magdalene recently completed a master's degree in global business administration at Tufts University.