Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Square One consists of CSB/SJU students that seek to create lasting micro-business ventures in developing countries. Each year, a team of students travel to a developing country with the goal of empowering a developing community through sustainable business. We are a student-run organization that operates as non-profit under the College of Saint Benedict 501c3 status. 

Three Step Process

We have a uniquely developed three step process to ensure that each project we undertake is catered to the needs of the people we help.

1. The Discovery Phase

Students are sent to the designated destination in search of pressing issues that exist in the area. We then talk to the local people in search for ways to help solve those issues. We must assess the needs of the developing community in order to create a project directed towards their needs and skills.

2. The Implementation Phase

Students assist in building and creating the project with the local people in about two weeks. The business is established in this stage and the locals are able to run the newly established business on their own.

3. The Reevaluation Phase

A year later, students are sent back to the site to ensure that the project is sustainable and positively affecting the surrounding community. In this phase, we can provide assistance and help suggest improvements to make the project more sustainable.


Square One is a CSBSJU student-run organization committed to empowering developing communities through sustainable business practices; we successfully implement our business ventures by tailoring each project to the individuals and resources within the respective region.


Our organization intends to expand projects to new areas of the world each year. We aim to tailor each new project to its location, and with each established project we plan on keeping contact with the communities we aid to ensure lasting impacts. Our club intends to sustain projects long term by revisiting the location for a minimum of three years and by maintaining year-round communication with community leaders.

Square One provides students the opportunity to study a specific developing nation and gain hands-on experience in designing and delivering a small-scale economic development venture. Students involved will gain global awareness through experience in project design and leadership. We recognize the importance of connecting our campus to our projects, and will hold events throughout the academic year raising awareness, educating our campus community about the communities we serve, and building support for our cause.