Scott Anderson

The NextBillion Case Writing Competition Returns for 2012-13: How You Can Contribute to Thought Leadership for Good

As we’ve regularly chronicled here on NextBillion, a near-insatiable interest in social enterprise and Base of the Pyramid approaches to poverty alleviation continues in the global halls of academia.

In response to this surge in demand, universities have added new courses and curricula focused on social entrepreneurship at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, the number of quality university-level business cases recounting the strategies of social entrepreneurs and their ventures still proves elusive to professors and the students who will one day lead future enterprises.

Discovering the very best cases exploring the risks and rewards of organizations deploying market-based approaches to economic or social development was the impetus for the NextBillion Case Writing Competition. In 2010 and again in 2011, GlobaLens, the case writing division of the William Davidson Institute, managed the competition to identify and publish these best practices, and to share this knowledge with the university community by publishing the most dynamic and engaging cases.

The contest took a hiatus for the 2011-2012 academic year, but I’m happy to announce its return for 2012-2013 with a new sponsor: Citi Foundation. Thanks to this sponsorship, the competition will be offering higher prize money for winners:

  • 1st place: $3,500
  • 2nd place: $2,500
  • 3rd place: $1,000

The top three cases, plus two honorable mentions, will be published by GlobaLens. They will be in good company. Winners in 2011 profiled innovative real-world models in impact investing, microfinance, BoP approaches in health care. In just the first two years of the competition, hundreds of students at more than a dozen universities have been exposed to successful outcomes in social enterprise and financial inclusion enterprises, including Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, Indiana University, Quinnipiac University (Connecticut), the University of Michigan, and Wake Forest University. As with the past competitions, a panel of leaders in both academia and private enterprise will judge the winning cases. (We will be announcing those selected judges soon).

Citi Foundation, a NextBillion partner, is focused on supporting the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- to moderate-income people in communities where they operate. By sponsoring this competition, Citi Foundation continues to demonstrate its support of improving learning opportunities and economic outcomes for the world’s youth, especially those who live in the developing world. We’re very thankful for their support.

Deadlines, Requirements, and Past Winners

As the media partner for the contest, NextBillion will provide regular updates on key deadlines, upcoming webinars by GlobaLens to help students write better cases, and other details. But here are a few key dates to add to your calendar:

Oct 12, 2012: Entry forms due?

Dec 14, 2012: Submissions due?

Apr 1, 2013: Winners will be announced

Key materials:

Download a competition entry form HERE (pdf).

Download a competition submission form HERE (pdf).

Download a copy of the call for entries, which includes a complete listing of rules and regulations, HERE (pdf).

Check out the 2011 winners HERE.

And if you have any questions about the 2013 competition, please contact Sandra Draheim with GlobaLens at:

We’re very excited to bring the contest back, and even more enthusiastic to learn from the next generation of business leaders.