Donovan Libby (GEMBA’18) Founded International Economic Development Program on Jesuit Values
Donovan Libby (GEMBA’18) is combining the motivations of a for-profit organization with the social responsibility principles he learned as a Georgetown Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) candidate. In July 2021, Libby founded TLG Global in Montenegro with goals of improving the standard of living in developing economies.
As coined by Libby, TLG Global is an international economic development program that promotes an interconnected world, encourages investments in emerging markets, and develops local entrepreneurs into world-class business leaders with the potential to give back to their communities. From educating the public to fostering start-up ecosystems, TLG Global seeks to establish long-lasting infrastructure to support developing communities.
“We look at emerging markets and try to identify a sector that is underdeveloped and would significantly increase the per capita income of the people in that particular market,” said Libby. “We’re starting a proof of concept in Montenegro, and our intention is eventually to move to other parts of the world and other emerging markets.”
In Montenegro, TLG Global has focused on developing the tech sector. Libby was a diplomat in Montenegro before developing his idea for TLG Global. During his time working in official positions, he recognized a need for private sector assistance in countries like Montenegro.
“There is only so much the government can do. There are restrictions on what they spend their money on and who they can work with. The private sector has an ability to act in a socially responsible way and the for-profit motivation gives them a reason to be more efficient in developing projects,” said Libby.
As a Georgetown graduate, Libby has put into practice the social responsibility principles and Jesuit values he learned as a student. Georgetown’s values and reputation were what drew him to the GEMBA program, which was offered in partnership with two other Jesuit schools: Esade Business School in Spain and Incae Business School in Costa Rica, as he looked to develop and refine his experiences in business before founding TLG Global.
“When I started looking for an MBA program and the GEMBA program came up, it was kind of a match in heaven for me,” said Libby. “I could go to a university that I’ve always wanted to be a part of and be proud to be an alumni of.”
Having grown up in Fairfax, Virginia, Libby lived near Georgetown and was proud to become a Hoya. This was an experience that Marc Busch, Karl F. Landegger Professor of International Business Diplomacy, reminded Libby not to take for granted.
“In my international trade class one day, Professor Busch looked around the room and told us to earn the title of being a Georgetown graduate,” Libby said. “Since then, I’ve used Georgetown’s Jesuit values to create a for-profit company that focuses on social good.”
To successfully implement those values as a founder of TLG Global, Libby created a four-vector program to develop the tech sector and community of Montenegro. The four components of the concept include supply, demand, real estate, and investment.
“The goal of this four-vector program is to build a sustainable technology sector here in a county that could use the high paying jobs associated with technology,” said Libby.
As TLG Global establishes the four-vector concept in Montenegro, Libby looks forward to the day they can expand to more communities around the world. He hopes to see TLG Global expand to more markets within the next five years. As a for-profit company with strong socially responsible values, Libby and his team at TLG Global hope to continue supporting emerging markets around the world.
“Montenegro currently is our proof-of-concept, and assuming our system works here, we plan to export this to other emerging markets around the world,” said Libby.
With connections and classmates around the world, Libby hopes to see TLG Global reach the broader Balkan region and Latin America in the coming years. As an international economic development program, Libby looks forward to seeing TLG Global’s impact spread around the world to emerging markets and economies.