Kyle Named Executive in Residence

The Social Enterprise Initiative at Goizueta named social entrepreneur David Kyle its new Executive in Residence this month, adding an outside perspective to a program designed to marry business and market-based principles to make lasting, societal impacts.

Born in New York and raised in South America, Kyle attended Trinity College and John Hopkins University before joining Citibank. He then hit the road, crisscrossing the globe for 20 years and running aspects of the investment and corporate banks in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, England and Portugal.

He returned to New York in 2001 and was downtown when the World Trade Center towers were attacked and collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Like many Americans, his life changed in an instant.

“I realized I needed to do something different,” he said.

Kyle worked with Save the Children and later took on roles as Chief Investment Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Acumen Fund. He moved to Hyderabad, India in 2007 and founded the Indian School Finance Company which provides medium-term loans for private schools in slums. One of the main investors was Atlanta-based Gray Ghost Ventures.

He moved back to the United States in 2010 having helped 400 private schools add 2,000 teaching positions and reach more than 150,000 students.

Kyle will make monthly trips to Goizueta’s campus to meet with students, fostering entrepreneurial thinking and melding business practices with social enterprise efforts. He says working in developing countries and gearing business toward social good is “more mainstream than people think.”

“This is really hardcore business made all the more hardcore because your expense base has to be lower and the pricing of your product has to be cheaper,” he said. “If anything this is going to reinforce your core business skills.”

According to Kyle, Fortune 500 companies need people who understand the dynamics of emerging markets. The world also needs eager minds to work in non-profit organizations or as venture capitalists specializing in small to medium loans.

“The label ‘social enterprise’ sends some conflicting messages,” Kyle said. “For a business school student to really develop their business skills this forces them to the wall in terms of really being the best.”

Kyle said he’s already met about 60 Goizueta students and will continue to do so in his role with the new, Social Enterprise Fellows Program. Incoming MBA students can apply for the fellows program and, if accepted, will have an opportunity to work one-on-one with Kyle during their education to discuss career paths and opportunities. Beyond executive mentoring, fellows will have access to an internship stipend.

For more information on the Social Enterprise Fellows program and details on how to apply click here or contact Ellen Williams (email).

Team First Place at NextBillion Competition

A team from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta won first place in the NextBillion 2011 Case Writing Competition, sponsored by NextBillion partners The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, Acumen Fund and Ashoka.  The winning team of Carol Gee, MBA student, and Peter Roberts, Associate Professor of Organization & Management, wrote “Village Capital: Using Peer Support to Accelerate Impact Investing.”   The case covers the opportunities and challenges facing Village Capital, an impact investment program that generates both financial and social returns and uses crowd sourcing to support seed-stage social entrepreneurs.

The NextBillion 2011 Case Writing Competition, currently in its second year, recognizes and publishes the best new business cases on Social Enterprise or Base of the Pyramid (BoP) topics.  The goal of the annual competition is to engage students and faculty on campuses globally in the emerging field of Social Enterprise.   All of this year’s case submissions were required to describe organizations that have both a specific social objective and seek long-term self-financing.  Judges included Robert Kennedy and Ted London of The William Davidson Institute, Moses Lee of the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative at the University of Michigan, Stephanie Schmidt of Ashoka, international development consultant Zenia Tata, and Brian Trelstad of Acumen Fund.

The Emory team’s first place case and the other 2011 winners have been published by GlobaLens, the

publishing division of The William Davidson Institute, and can be found at http://globalens.com/casedetail.aspx?cid=1429180.  GlobaLens features one of the largest collections of BoP and Social Enterprise teaching cases available from any publisher.

Other winning submissions came from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington; University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor; Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.

The Emory University team received $1,000 for first place.  The second place winner was awarded $500, third place $250, and fourth and fifth place each received $100.  All winners also received autographed copies of The Blue Sweater by Acumen Fund founder Jacqueline Novogratz.

About NextBillion
NextBillion is the premier blog and online resource on market-based approaches to poverty alleviation. NextBillion acts as a discussion forum and knowledge base for business leaders, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, policy makers, and academics interested in business strategies that improve the lives of those at the Base of the Pyramid – the world’s approximately four billion low-income producers and consumers.

About The William Davidson Institute
Founded in 1992, the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan develops and disseminates research and expertise on business in emerging-market economies. With current and past research initiatives (such as Base of the Pyramid, environmental sustainability, Green Leap, and social venture partnerships), development consulting services, educational outreach, and field-based collaborations, WDI creates long-term value for academic institutions, partner organizations, and donor agencies active in emerging markets.

About GlobaLens
GlobaLens, a division of The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, publishes and distributes relevant, cutting-edge business cases and other teaching materials for top-tier business schools worldwide.  The current catalog of over 350 case studies, simulations, conceptual notes and exercises is available via GlobaLens.com and features materials suitable for MBA or undergraduate business students.

About Acumen Fund
Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. Its aim is to help build financially sustainable and scalable organizations that deliver affordable critical goods and services that improve the lives of the poor.

About Ashoka
Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Since 1981, Ashoka has elected over 2,500 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in 70 countries.