July 28, 2013 11:38 pm

MBAs to meet the challenge of sustainability

MBA pics

Bright future: Maasai children in Tanzania benefit from the work of non-profits. GFC

On the northern outskirts of Bogotá, Colombia is a small, private school with an entrepreneurial sideline. Each day from a classroom on campus the school runs a pizzeria and ice cream shop. The money raised is donated to a local grassroots organisation that helps children from six to 16 to remain at school by offering programmes that focus on language, communication and study skills.

Alumni from the school set up Fundacion Alfonso Casas Morales para la Promocion Humana in 1987. In 2007, the Global Fund for Children also offered its support and has donated a total of $115,200 over the years as part of its strategy to invest in non-profit groups that work with vulnerable young people.

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Today the GFC works with 282 non-profits, nine of which – including Promocion Humana – have been given sustainability grants this year and invited to work with nine teams of MBA students in the FT MBA Challenge 2013.

The MBA Challenge asks teams of students to tackle business problems faced by the FT’s seasonal appeal partners – which this year is the GFC. Each team will submit proposals on how their partner organisation should spend its GFC grant and maximise the non-profit’s sustainability plan. The winning team will be announced in October. The nine teams and their grant proposals are as follows:

pazapa
3continents4children

Eight students from Melbourne Business School, Vlerick Business School, UCLA and Clark University partnered with Pazapa in Haiti.

Pazapa is the only local organisation in Haiti’s southeast department that provides comprehensive medical care, education and support to children with disabilities and their families through home services and small business loans.

With a $33,000 grant from GFC, Pazapa aims to ensure long-term financial sustainability by enhancing its US fundraising capacity and its financial management and reporting systems.

Banana

Eight students from UCLA, the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and London School of Economics partnered with Karm Marg in India.

Founded in 1997 to help children living on the railway platform of the New Delhi train station, Karm Marg now runs a home for street children. All activities at the home are focused on strengthening the children’s skills and teamwork, while providing shelter, education and medical care.

With a $30,000 grant from GFC, Karm Marg aims to upgrade its facilities to ensure legal compliance with new child protection laws and to increase revenue to meet all operational costs.

Basic-A

Eight students from Vlerick, NUS Singapore, the University of Alberta, North Carolina State University and the Ivey School at the University of Western Ontario partnered with Media Concern Initiative in Nigeria.

Media Concern Initiative provides resources and advocacy for effective responses to sexual and gender-based violence to young people. The organisation works with civil society, healthcare providers and government actors on prevention, treatment, crisis response and legal support to enforce a social context where sexual abuse of children and youth is appropriately addressed.

With a $25,000 grant from GFC, Media Concern Initiative aims to develop Nigeria’s first forensic interview room and train staff in forensic interview techniques, purchasing and installing technical equipment.

Global Grassroots

Six students from Iese Business School, Essec Business School, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, the Kellogg School at Northwestern University and Northwestern’s Medill School. Partnered with the Alliance for Children and Youth in Bulgaria.

Established in 2002 by three organisations with experience of working with street children, the Alliance for Children and Youth offers counselling, vocational training, academic tutoring and access to healthcare services to homeless and unemployed young people aged 16-25 and their dependants up to the age of five. The organisation also works closely with medical centres and government agencies.

With a $30,000 sustainability grant from GFC, the Alliance for Children and Youth hopes to establish an educational training unit and develop its curricula and staff to train university students, government officials and other organisations in the delivery of mobile social services. It also aims to put together a photo exhibition and develop a more useful website.

Global Partners

Eight students from Vlerick, Melbourne and George Washington University partnered with Monduli Pastoralist Development Initiative in Tanzania.

Founded in 2004, Monduli Pastoralist Development Initiative focuses on early childhood development in a small pastoralist Maasai community in northern Tanzania to promote education and community development. More than 3,000 children are directly supported and 30,000 indirectly in 40 pre-school centres.

With a $30,000 grant from GFC, Mondulit Pastoralist Development aims to create an income-generating workshop for the manufacture and sale of educational learning aids and form a strategic partnership with Future Lights for Development Organisation, another GFC grantee partner located in Egypt.

Ignition

Eight students from City University Cass Business School, Melbourne, Alberta and IE Business School partnered with Dream a Dream in India.

Founded in 1999, Dream a Dream empowers children and youth from vulnerable backgrounds by teaching them various life skills through sports, outdoor camps, creative arts, reading, computers and theatre.

With a $30,000 grant from GFC, Dream a Dream aims to develop a communications and branding strategy and hire more staff to mainstream its model for educational institutions.

Oasis

Eight students from Fudan University, Alberta and Essec partnered with Synergie pour l’Enfance in Senegal.

Founded in 1996 by a paediatrician, Synergie pour l’Enfance supports orphaned and vulnerable children who have been infected or affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic. Serving more than 3,800 children to date, Synergie implements prevention and treatment programmes. It also works to prevent mother-to-child transmission by offering medical care, counselling and nutritional support to expectant and breast-feeding mothers.

With a $25,000 grant from GFC, Synergie aims to launch an income-generating taxi service to cover rent costs and generate savings for a permanent office space to be built on land donated by the government.

MBA challenge
Per Aspera Ad Astra

Eight students from the University of St Gallen, Nanyang Technical University and John Hopkins University partnered with Fundación Alfonso Casas Morales para la Promoción Humana in Colombia.

With a $35,000 grant from GFC, Promoción Humana aims to create a more structured and transparent fundraising strategy.

Reconnect

Five students from Yonsei University School of Business, Ohio State University, the University of Ottawa and Essec Business School partnered with Big Brother Mouse in Laos.

Big Brother Mouse was established in 2006 by Sasha Alyson, a retired US publisher who noticed the lack of non-school-related books in the Lao language and Khamla Panyasouk, a Laotian who had a desire to turn his curiosity about reading into something concrete. Its mission is twofold: to offer a creative outlet for local talents to create and publish books in Lao and to bring books to rural children who have not seen or owned a book that is not part of their school curriculum. This is achieved through the distribution of books to children and youth aged six to 18 in rural areas of Laos, building school libraries and holding book parties.

With a $30,000 grant from GFC, Big Brother Mouse aims to build a Big Brother Mouse Learning Center which will house a staff research library, a model project library, a computer lab and space for capacity-building training. It also aims to send staff on learning visits to other literacy organisations in the region.

Over the next four weeks articles on the Business Life pages will look at the progress the teams are making.

www.ft.com/mba-challenge2013

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