Connect locally while engaging globally

The Institute for International Business (IIB) is a partnership between the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the Tippie College of Business. IIB is dedicated to advancing knowledge and international skills in business and educational communities. In addition, IIB works to promote entrepreneurship as a tool to empower people in developing countries and frontier markets while also providing Iowa students with cross-cultural and international business skills. In so doing, IIB is strengthening links between the University of Iowa, Iowa communities, and the world.

Mandela Washington Fellowship Program

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, started in 2014, is the flagship program for The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI provides members with invaluable opportunities to connect with other leaders in their community and to learn from experts in their field.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship Program empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. The Fellows have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries.

The University of Iowa Mandela Washington Fellowship program is run by the Institute for International Business, a partnership between Tippie College of Business and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa.

For the seventh year, the Institute for International Business welcomed 24 Mandela Washington Fellows from Sub-Saharan African countries to the University of Iowa to partake in the 2022 program.

Learn more about the Mandela Washington Fellowship and join the conversation at #YALI2022.

Explore the 2022 program

Internship Opportunities

Iowa International Business Internship

An opportunity for University of Iowa students to gain experience in conducting meaningful international market analysis and research for Iowa businesses that already have a global reach, or that wish to expand into international markets. Interns will interview directly with Iowa companies and be selected based on a matching of their interests with the specific needs of the company.

African Business Innovators (ABI) Internship

Gain firsthand knowledge of the business environment in sub-Saharan Africa. Network with international business professionals. Acquire and practice the skills of cross-cultural competency and communication and improve your global mindset. Recognize some of the contemporary macro business issues of globalization.

Host a Virtual Internship

Are you a Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni interested in hosting an African Business Innovators virtual internship? Please fill out this brief questionnaire regarding how a University of Iowa student intern can help your business, and you will be contacted by an IIB staff member for further information.

Opportunities for Businesses

Student consulting projects

International business consulting services are provided by teams of 3-5 University of Iowa students and are under the guidance of a faculty advisor with extensive business experience. The curriculum is designed for maximum performance for the client, and throughout the semester, teams provide clients with weekly progress reports and appraisals and will then complete a full report of the objectives, findings and recommendations.

How it works

Training programs

The IIB offers CGBP exam prep. The Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential is administered by the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). The next exam prep workshop will be March 3-4, 2023.

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Training the Trainers - Entrepreneurship Training

The Western Saudi Arabia Venture School for Women is made possible through a partnership with the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, the University of Iowa and Education for Employment. Watch this video to learn more about the Training of Trainers Entrepreneurship Program.

Opportunities for Students

Travel abroad

Experience another culture through Iowa JPEC and IIB annual trips abroad during breaks in the academic year. These opportunities are available through the International Entrepreneurship and Culture course.

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Student consulting

Take on applied projects for Iowa companies looking to expand globally or companies abroad through Business Consulting courses.

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More opportunities

Venture School International

The IIB Venture School program is designed to train and empower entrepreneurs by focusing on the critical success factors involved in early stage company development.

By using the Business Model Canvas as a focal point for creating value through customer discovery, the International Venture School program utilizes the guidance of established U.S. entrepreneurs and University of Iowa Venture School faculty while nurturing the development of mentor relationships within the local community. This combination of resources, expertise, and feedback is instrumental in the development of next generation innovators.

Established American entrepreneurs are often the biggest champions for turning ideas into validated opportunities, and we aim to foster this same atmosphere in our programs abroad.

Learn more

B.E.L Initiative

The B.E.L. Initiative, planned in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti, the IIB, and the Georgia Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce, is an accelerator program that provides business development curriculum, mentorship, and networking opportunities for Haitian entrepreneurs. Its goal: transforming the economic landscape of Haiti.

During their stay, the Fellows participate in Venture School, cultural excursions, company visits, and networking events while immersing themselves in business development, international trade, and agribusiness. 

Discover B.E.L.

International services and resources

  • Export readiness assessment
  • Overall trade compliance and documentation
  • Foreign market opportunity assessment
  • Trade mission preparation International business diplomacy (foreign partners and clients negotiations preparation, dealing with foreign governments)
  • International business development
  • Trade financing
  • International logistics issues
  • International business risks analysis
  • International banking and insurances
  • International business plans
  • Cross-cultural issues
  • Building strategies for different foreign markets

Next steps

If you’re interested in finding out more about the IIB, applying to receive consulting services, or sponsoring the IIB, reach out. Your support will help provide resources for program development, promotion, student support, faculty development, and research in International Business studies.