August 2

Scott Anderson

Weekly Roundup – 8/2/14: The NextBillion Case Writing Competition is returning for 2015

How’d you like to contribute to the educational canon of social entrepreneurship, influencing students and maybe even future businesses leaders on what it takes to build a business that helps improve people’s lives?

That is not a rhetorical question.

We’re thrilled to announce the return of the NextBillion Case Writing Competition, sponsored by the Citi Foundation and managed by GlobaLens. The 2015 contest will represent the fifth edition of the competition, which has attracted hundreds of entries from professors and students from dozens of countries around the world. We’re grateful that our friends at the Citi Foundation are once again sponsoring the competition, which recognizes and publishes the best written academic business case studies about business strategies to alleviate poverty and improve living conditions across the developing world.

In 2014, the competition generated winning cases that probed solar power enterprises in Africa, affordable eye care treatment in India and efforts to build a sustainable brand in the heart to the rainforest.

The contest is managed by GlobaLens, the publishing division of the William Davidson Institute – the parent organization of NextBillion. The team at GlobaLens works closely with interested case writers, be they professors or students. In fact, GlobaLens also will host a webinar in September to explain the tools and techniques for writing an engaging case. (We’ll have more on this when a specific date and time are finalized). Even if you’re familiar with business cases, or have ever researched or written one, this will be a vital event to attend.

Just like last year, the prizes for 2015 include $3,500 for first place, $2,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place. The judges also will award two honorable mentions. Cases from all five winners will be published by GlobaLens and will be available for download for professors, students and anyone with a keen interest in social enterprise.

This competition has several important deadlines to keep in mind. A full list of dates and resources can be found here, but the key ones to include on your calendar include:

October 10, 2014: Initial entry forms are due.

December 19, 2014: Submission documents due.

April 3, 2015: Winners are announced.

Here are the judges for this year’s competition:

Paul Clyde is the new president of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan and the Tom Lantos Professor of Business Administration at the Ross School of Business. He has served as the academic director of the Part-time Program at the Ross School of Business where he led the development of the Weekend MBA Program which admitted its first students in 2010. Clyde’s recent work in emerging markets has focused on health care delivery to the poor in emerging markets. In the last 15 years, Clyde has advised or run over 50 health-care projects in twelve different emerging markets. He also has worked with faculty from the UM’s Medical School, Nursing School, Public Health and Law School in developing a financially self-sustainable health care business model that serves the poor. Clyde has also been involved in work with corporations ranging in size from small biotech startups to large corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk and DTE Energy. The projects have included supply chain management, market entry strategies and business plans, and have involved work in over twenty countries. (Find out more about his work in an interview with NextBillion here and here).

Hui Wen Chan is the impact analytics and planning officer at the Citi Foundation will serve as a judge again for this year’s competition. She is responsible for measuring and tracking portfolio performance and impact to support the foundation’s grants planning process. Chan has prior work experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors. Before joining Citi Foundation, she advised clients across a variety of industries at Sagent Advisors, Inc. and Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman Group). She also served as a program officer for the William J. Clinton Foundation’s pediatric HIV/AIDS program in Beijing, China. Most recently, she was a Harvard Business School Leadership Fellow and associate director at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, focused on strategic planning and business development. Chan graduated with honors from Harvard College with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. She also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she focused her studies on social enterprise and impact investing. You can check out Chan’s blog posts on NextBillion here.

Another new judge for 2015, Andrea Masini, associate professor, Operations Management and Information Technology at HEC Paris, also is a past winner. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from INSEAD (France). Prior to joining HEC Paris, Andrea was Assistant Professor of Operations and Technology Management at the London Business School. He has a background in mechanical engineering and environmental management. Andrea conducts interdisciplinary research to study the operational and organizational impact of technological innovations, with a particular emphasis on ICT, renewable energy technologies and sustainability issues. His recent work has been published on M&SOM, the Journal of Operations Management and Energy Policy. He has taught courses on Operations Management, Supply Chain Management and Technology Strategy at the MBA, executive as well as at the Ph.D. level. He also consults for private and public organizations on themes related to process optimization, ICT and technological innovation. Masini co-authored 2014’s first-place case, “African Solar Rise: Electrifying Rural Tanzania”

Our fourth judge, Tara Sabre Collier is an impact investing specialist at GroFin Capital, a pan-African impact investing fund. She is also the co-founder of EOSS Consulting, an economic development consulting firm based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. NextBillion readers may know Collier from her previous and insightful posts on NextBillion. Collier has a decade of experience working with government, non-profits, and entrepreneurs on business strategy and economic development, including projects in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Peru, USA, Nigeria, South Africa and Jordan. She earned her MBA at Oxford University, where she was a Skoll Scholar with Oxford University’s Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. Prior to her MBA, she completed her MPA in International Management & Policy at New York University and her BA at Spelman College.

If you’d like to peruse the summaries of winning cases, or download them in their entirety, please see the full list below.

2014 Winners:

2013 Winners:

2011 Winners:

2010 Winner:

We look forward to serving as the media platform for the competition, providing you regular updates along the way. You have a little more than two months to submit an initial idea. We look forward to seeing the great work the NextBillion community will surely produce this time.

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