The team's idea and innovative business plan classified for the Finals of the Hult Global Case Challenge, due to take place in April in New York
A group of ESADE MBA students has classified as the wining team of the London Regional Final in the Education category of the 2012 Hult Global Case Challenge, which is a worldwide competition between leading business school and university students to generate solutions to alleviate global poverty. The Regional Finals were held in 5 cities, with winners classifying for the Global Finals on April 26th in New York.
ESADE’s winning team – consisting of the MBA students Luisa Lombera (Mexico), Charles Gibson (Ireland), Sruthinka Menon (India), Victor Geldres (Peru) and Karl-Justin Sturmer (Germany) – proposed an innovative business plan aimed at helping the North American NGO One Laptop per Child improve its endeavours for promoting education in developing countries. At the Global Finals, the team will compete against rivals from Carnegie Mellon University, Hult International Business School, and Aarhus University. In total, 15 of the more than 200 participating teams have been selected for the global finals.
"We detected that One Laptop per Child was experiencing difficulties reducing costs and providing viable financing solutions to interested governments", says Charles Gibson, Vice President of ESADE’s Net Impact Club and one of ESADE MBA students on the winning team. “Our solution for the NGO focuses on creating a sustainable relationship with for-profit businesses, in which not only the risks, responsibilities and rewards of business are shared, but real value is created for all", says Gibson. “The era of corporations writing cheques to improve their image is over. It is clear that true innovation, productivity improvement and shareholder value will stem from really benefiting all stakeholders."
At the finals in New York, each team will be given the opportunity to present their solution to a world-class panel of executive judges. The winning teams will have the chance to implement their solutions for the beneficiaries – One Laptop per Child, SolarAid and Habitat for Humanity – with a $1 million grant. “We are looking forward to meeting more young, motivated people working to eradicate global poverty at the finals in New York and beyond," says Luisa Lombera, another member of the winning ESADE MBA team.
Housing and Energy Besides the ESADE’s winning team in the Education category, two other ESADE MBA teams were chosen to participate in the 2012 Hult Global Case Challenge, but did not reach the global finals. One team competed in the Housing category, focused on offering solutions to the governments of emerging market economies for the provision of affordable and sustainable housing to urban migrants. The other team competed in the Energy category, which sought to find clean energy solutions viable for emerging markets.
Overall, the ESADE students agree that travelling to London and Dubai for this competition was a unique and wholly worthwhile experience. “It represented a tremendous learning experience and practical opportunity to enact change with impact; it was a great opportunity to share ideas with other teams from around the globe", says Sara Pais, one of the ESADE MBA students that participated in the Housing category team and President of the ESADE Net Impact Club.
Genevieve Torok, a member of the ESADE team that competed in the Dubai regional finals of the Energy division, says that their challenge was “to find the best method for providing solar lighting to one million households in Africa by the end of 2013, as a step towards eradicating the use of dangerous kerosene lamps by 2020". After thorough market and industry analysis, “we suggested implementing a model that used a solar photovoltaic micro-grid system that had the capacity to supply a much larger number of households, in order to create value for all stakeholders, in particular rural African communities, participating NGOs, and investors in the project," explained Torok.