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).

Student Carries Wine Project Forward

Natalie Reese wanted her business education to be unique. She feared being seen as an MBA from a “cookie cutter” program with a resume lacking passion.

Now, less than a month from graduation, she can look back at an experience that included world travel and — perhaps — front line input on a poverty-fighting wine industry in Ethiopia.

“The prospect of saving the world through wine is definitely a romantic one and one I thought was great,” said Reese, one of six Goizueta students who traveled to Ethiopia to conduct a feasibility study on an economy-boosting wine industry. “I loved it. For me, also, it iwas a really neat opportunity to take on a project that was not typical for a business school… I could go off and do something entirely different and have this amazing experience and really learn from it, have my eyes opened and my horizons expanded.”

In August, six MBA students from Emory’s Goizueta Business School traveled to Ethiopia to research a project that could change at least a portion of the social landscape in this East African country. PHOTO: John Langford

Six months of work went into the feasibility study commissioned by the International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW). The report concludes that — with proper funding and manpower — an economically sustainable, high-quality wine industry can be created with an ability to combat poverty.

FOR MORE ON THE STUDY | PDF

Reese was on hand at the Embassy of Ethiopia in Washington, D.C. March 24 to answer questions but the study is already coming to life.

Sandhya Deshetty, also an MBA candidate at Goizueta, recently founded SPARC Development — an agency charged with getting funding to take the wine project and similar university research to the field.

Literally.

“In working through this pilot project it’s becoming even more evident that, as social enterprise is growing in universities across the nation, there’s this tremendous amount of knowledge that is just not being utilized and taken advantage of,” Deshetty said at the embassy. “There’s a tremendous amount of ideas coming from students, coming from faculty that really just needs a push forward to make it happen.”

Wine has been made in the Ethiopia since the 17th century but now, with the availability of land and the right partners, the region is ripe for wine industry growth. Deshetty’s plan, built from the study, calls for a co-operative system modeled after the Ethiopian coffee industry.

The research team, led by Associate Professor of Organization and Management Peter Roberts, estimates domestic and international demand for any wine produced. For instance, existing studies point to a growing demand for wine within Ethiopia. Moreover, a preliminary survey of Ethiopain restaurants in the U.S. revealed an approximate demand of 9,500 cases per year.

“Right now we have every relevant person in place ready to go as soon as we have the funding,” added Deshetty, who presented to a mix of alumni, Ethiopian government officials and philanthropists at the embassy to formally launch her nonprofit’s first project.

Students on the research team met with the prime minister and other government officials last August. “Quality” was stressed for success of any wine industry.

Almaz Amaha, Minister Counsel of Economic and Business Affairs at the Embassy of Ethiopia and Solomon K. Mekonnen, Senior Economic Officer,  said they look forward to supporting the project and appreciate the efforts of students and SPARC Development (LinkedIn).

“They have a huge emphasis on using a market-driven economy as a means to development [and] a focus on value-added agriculture,” adds Deshetty, who will serve as the first in-country project manager. “The goals of this project are aligned with the over-arching goals of Ethiopia… “

Access to capital, a lack of industry knowledge and limited market access could prove challenging but the team hopes to mitigate concerns with government involvement and support from foundations, social impact investors and universities.

Individuals at the University of California-Davis and Cornell University have already pledged support to the project.

Deshetty said a trip is planned for September to start site visits. Partnering with the Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, the team will examine areas where significant varietal testing has been done and survey farmers on the possibility of forming co-ops.

Goizueta’s active support in the realm of social enterprise could present other opportunities as well. But perhaps none, as Reese puts it, could be as romantic as building a poverty-fighting wine industry.

Deshetty said she hopes drinking a glass of Ethiopian wine is just the start.

“Ten years from now I hope SPARC has little pockets of activity going on around the world,” said Deshetty. “We see our immediate involvement with these projects being short term but always having a long-term affiliation. We want to be able to take similiar projects like this — feasability studies coming out of schools — that just need that extra little push; we’re that spark that moves it forward.”

Follow SPARC Development on Facebook | Twitter

Mayor, Goizueta Launch Case Competition

Interested students can find out more about the case competition at www.wisdomofcrowds.emory.edu.

On April 1, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Social Enterprise Initiative at Goizeuta Business School announced that Emory University has officially opened a case competition to accelerate the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Atlanta. The City is interested in developing a feasible economic plan that will stimulate the demand for 50,000 EVs in the Metro Atlanta Region. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Clean Cites Atlanta have been working to provide information for consumers who are considering purchasing EVs. These efforts now serve as a platform for students to get involved in a unique case competition to develop innovative plans that address the question: What is the best strategy for Atlanta to build the demand for 50,000 electric vehicles in the next two years?

Alternative transportation development is a key part of the Mayor’s sustainability plan. The City remains dedicated to the research and development of a comprehensive alternative transportation policy for the 21st Century. Finding an economically feasible strategy to accelerate the adoption of zero emission automobiles will aid Atlanta in its efforts to reach the city’s sustainability goals while making Atlanta a top ten city for sustainability.

Every college student in the State of Georgia is eligible to participate. In May, all participants will be able to access a three-part lecture series on Emory’s campus. Executives from the U.S. Department of Energy, General Electric and Wheego Electric Car Company will highlight issues associated with EV deployment and their mass-market adoption. Every lecture will be recorded, in addition to the terms and conditions for the case completion, and posted on Emory’s website: www.wisdomofcrowds.emory.edu

Up to 30 student teams may participate for a chance to present their strategy to a unique panel composed of policy leaders and industry executives. Contest deliverables are due Aug. 31, 2011 and will be submitted in accordance with instructions outlined on the competition website. Shortly thereafter, the top six student teams will be invited to present to the judging panel. On the Sept. 8, 2011, the selected teams will present their cases to the judging panel. Within 24 hours the top plan will be announced and a cash prize of $5,000 will be awarded.

Even relying on today’s power grid, electric vehicles produce less pollution than almost all other vehicles on the road. As the power grid gets cleaner, electric vehicles will become cleaner alternatives. For more information on Atlanta’s EV readiness efforts, visit: http://www.cleancitiesatlanta.net/index.php/grants-a-projects/atlanta-ev

About the Social Enterprise Program at Goizeuta Business School
Social Enterprise at Goizueta is defining the role the business school will play within the sector of organizations whose mission is to create social value. Whether a social enterprise operates in the nonprofit, for-profit or public arena, greater success will come to those who are able to apply management knowledge and skills to meet the challenges they face. Building a structure around Social Enterprise is another way Goizueta is developing principled leaders for global enterprise.

About Clean Cities Atlanta
Designated the first “Clean City” by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 1993, Clean Cities–Atlanta (CC-A) serves as the central coordinating point for alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) activities in the metro Atlanta area. Through this partnership with DOE’s Clean Cities Program, the coalition of federal, state and local agencies, utilities, public interest groups, and public and private fleets promote the use of alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel in cars, trucks, and buses. These alternative fuels help clean the air while also reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign petroleum.

About the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is focused on instituting environmental protection practices into Atlanta city government. It aims to do so by improving the city’s environmental programs and policies such as water and energy conservation, solid waste and emissions reduction and recycling. To fully expand its commitment to sustainability, Mayor Kasim Reed has pledged that the City of Atlanta will become one of the top ten most sustainable cities in the United States. To that end, The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability utilizes Recovery Act funding across 16 different programs. These programs are designed to motivate and support community efforts that aim to enhance environmental quality, while supporting jobs and long-term economic growth.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This press release was sent via the Mayor’s Office of Communication. Click here for more.

So Good You Can Taste It

 

Tuesday evening, room W320 became a mini food court of sorts. PHOTO: Allison Shirreffs

Tuesday evening, Goizueta room W320 became a mini food court of sorts.

Worthwhile Wine Company’s wines, High Road Craft’s ice cream, El Carrizal’s homemade jams, Tamale Queen’s authentic Mexican street food, Sugar-Coated Radical’s artisan chocolates, and one-of-a-kind handmade baskets by the Bhutanese Basket Cooperative, were all on display — as was an entrepreneurial spirit.

To be specific, social entrepreneurism: the idea business owners can operate with a purpose and be profitable.

On hand for the event were BBA and MBA students from Peter Roberts’s social enterprise classes. Roberts, Associate Professor of Organization and Management as well as the leader of Goizueta’s Social Enterprise Initiative, hoped students would see not only that entrepreneurs can “have business aspirations made more laudable because their primary interest is doing something good for others,” but that meeting and talking with entrepreneurs would make “ideas of social entrepreneurism become real.”

After each organization offered a brief explanation of his or her operation, students circulated the room, asked questions and sampled products such as the tamales doled out by Tamale Queen, a restaurant and food truck business with the company tag line: “Feel Good Mexican. On Wheels.”

An offshoot of Fugees Family, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to working with child survivors of war, Tamale Queen’s profits help support the Fugees Family organization. According to Tamale Queen co-founder Bouran Quadummi, the company employs mothers of the child survivors.

Tamale Queen’s first truck hits the streets in April.

Launched in 2010 by Keith Schroeder and Hunter Thornton, High Road Craft Ice Cream, Inc., an organic, local specialty ice cream and sorbet outfit, caters to high-end restaurants and outlets. Schroeder was on hand with ice cream samples and advice for students.

To date, High Road’s wares are in 100 establishments. This summer products will make a debut at Whole Foods Market.

A well-known Atlanta pastry chef, Taria Camerino is co-founder of Sugar-Coated Radical, a socially conscious company that creates chocolate confections such as “Black Lava Salt Caramel.” She explained the company works only with those Fair Trade suppliers that practice sustainability, provide organic alternatives and pay a fair wage.

Tom Lynch, the founder of Worthwhile Wine Company, is a successful entrepreneur who’d founded and sold a marketing research company. With Worthwhlle Wine, Lynch aims to operate a triple bottom line business that generates profits, helps people and is good to the planet.

Introduced to kudzu while planting a community garden in late 2009, a group of Bhutanese refugees decided to turn one man’s headache into a business — basket weaving. To date, the Bhutanese Basket Cooperative has sold $30,000 worth of kudzu-based products. While helping fund a cause, it also serves a purpose. Noted Craig Gilbert, the volunteer manager of the Bhutanese Basket Cooperative.

“It really helps teach [the refugees] about capitalism,” he said.

Ellen Williams, Project Manager of the Social Enterprise Initiative’s 2010 trip to Nicaragua introduced a sampling of jams produced by El Carrizal Jam Cooperative in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. The jams are made from locally-grown fruit and processed in El Carrizal by local women.

Student Jessica Crawford [MBA 12] was impressed with the entrepreneurs on hand.

“It has to be a great product, not just a great cause,” she said, digging a knife into a jar of El Carrizal jam. “You have to be able to compete. If it’s not a good product, it’s not going to be sustainable.”

- Allison Shirreffs

 

 

Fighting Poverty Through Wine

Goizueta MBA students are working on a feasibility study that they hope leads to a sustainable wine industry that fights poverty in Ethiopia. SUBMITTED PHOTO

With an estimated three quarters of its population living off less than $2 a day, Ethiopia is one of many African nations searching for different ways to jump start the economy.

A team of graduate students from a university halfway around the globe may have one answer.

In August, six MBA students from Emory’s Goizueta Business School traveled to Ethiopia to research a project that could change at least a portion of the social landscape in this East African country. Six months of work went into a feasibility study commissioned by the International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW). The report concludes that — with proper funding and manpower — an economically sustainable, high-quality wine industry can be created with an ability to help combat poverty.

“It’s a poor part of the world but, when you go there, you see lots of opportunity,” said Peter Roberts, a professor of organization and management at Goizueta and head of the school’s Social Enterprise Initiative.

The team met with government and industry leaders in a country, and returned to Atlanta with notes on the climate, culture, history and economics of Ethiopia.

One look at the hillsides and the temperate climate and the group realized a wine industry is not only possible, but could actually flourish. Wine has been made in the region since the 17th century but now, with the availability of land and the right partners, the region is ripe for wine industry growth.

The plan calls for a co-operative system modeled after the Ethiopian coffee industry. Roberts’ team estimates domestic and international demand for any wine produced. For instance, existing studies point to a growing demand for wine within Ethiopia. Moreover, a preliminary survey of Ethiopain restaurants in the U.S. revealed an approximate demand of 9,500 cases per year.

With this kind of demand, an Ethiopian farmer could earn approximately 12,000 Ethiopian birr per quarter hectare plot compared to 2,500 birr with other crops. (One U.S. dollar is currently equal to roughly 17 Ethiopian birr). “The return is even higher… when farmers also receive a five percent ‘social premium’ from the downstream profits associated with making and selling wine,” according to the report.

Access to capital, a lack of industry knowledge and limited market access could prove challenging but the team hopes to mitigate concerns with government involvement and support from foundations, social impact investors and universities. The University of California-Davis and Cornell University have been contacted for possible contributions of the project.

“A lot of interesting things are going to happen just by Emory getting parities to the table,” said Melonie Chapman, a non-profit consultant in Atlanta that assisted the team in Africa.

The Goizueta students, who are all scheduled to graduate in May, plan to remain active. Two soon-to-graduate students — one on the research team — are now taking steps to launch an organization to carry the project into its implementation stage.

Sandhya Deshetty says the purpose of their venture is to pick up where feasibility studies typically stall.

“All too often sound recommendations that could drive economic growth and achieve social impact go unrealized,” she said. “Natalie (Reese) and I will not only design, but also implement market-based solutions to global poverty; and this project is a tremendous opportunity for us to help transform innovative thought into action.”

Stephen Satterfied, founder of ISAW, applauded the school for its continuing efforts and said he’s confident the process can draw social entrepreneurs and end with a positive impact on Ethiopian society.

“Ultimately, the vision embodied in the report is somewhere between 80 and 160 families in Ethiopia being on the cutting edge of viticulture in Ethiopia,” Roberts said. “Obviously, the next four to six weeks are going to be extremely exciting.”

To view the Executive Summary of the report (PDF), click here.