Archive for the ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ Category


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
BID Challenge 2007.jpg
For those of you who are still considering taking the Social Entrepreneurship Track at IE, here’s one more incentive to take the step: The BiD Challenge is here again.
The BiD Challenge 2007 is open to start-up or established entrepreneurs with a business proposal for a new, or the expansion of an existing enterprise in a developing country. If you are serious and motivated about creating a business that reduces poverty in a developing country don’t miss the opportunity to take part on the competition which brings you close to likeminded people, sharing ideas and best practices, as well as an economic incentive to fulfill your business endeavor. Some criteria to participate follows:
• Focus on creating a new business (start-up companies) or focus on the expansion or diversification of an existing business
• Focus on a developing country
• Require a start-up investment between €5,000 and €500,000
• Seek to be profit generating within 3 years
• Seek to maximize development impact in the developing country of operation
The deadline for the “Executive Summary” or Business Plan Template submission is May 31st. On last year’s challenge, Alex Corrie, IMBA Alumni made it to the finals. Perhaps this is the year to come up with one of the grand prizes!
Who can participate?.
Timeline for the BID Challenge.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
2007 Skoll World Forum.jpg
The Skoll World Forum is taking place today and until this Thursday. I have surfed through the Social Edge website all morning and sadly have not had access to the conferences live, as it was possible last year. Perhaps they will be uploaded later on. In the mean time, there are a couple of blogs available, which are covering the event from their own perspective. Some of the speakers are:
• Jeff Skoll, founder and Chairman, Skoll Foundation and Participant Productions
• Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Grameen Bank founder and microfinance pioneer
• Peter Gabriel, musician, activist, cofounder and Chair of WITNESS
• Dr. Larry Brilliant, Executive Director,, founder and former Director of the Seva Foundation
• Bill Drayton, CEO and Chair, Ashoka
• Jeroo Billimoria, founder, Aflatoun / Child Savings International, who was this past November at the Social Responsibility Day at IE
Free the Children – 2007 Skoll Awardee
The 2007 Skoll Awardees will be presented at this event and include among others, Free The Children, NGO which recognizes the potential of young people to create positive social change. It works with schools throughout North America to educate and empower youths to act locally and globally as agents of change for their peers around the world. More than 500,000 students have joined the organization’s Youth in Action groups in 1,000 schools across the U.S. and Canada. They have shipped $11 million in essential medical supplies and have provided health care projects benefiting more than 505,000 people.
My deepest congratulations to Craig and Marc Kielburger, with whom i had the opportunity to work with back in 1999, at the State of the World Forum.
Have a look at the 2007 Skoll Awardees.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
IE Team 2.jpg
Philipp, Tobias, Guillermo and Blagoja have come up with the grand prize of the Sustainable Innovation Challenge competition at Thunderbird, which challenges the teams to come up with the most innovative solution to a real-world business issue that reflects corporate social responsibility.
“The Thunderbird Sustainable Innovation Summit is a clear recognition that we can no longer separate a business’ financial success from its responsibility to society and the planet,” says Gregory Unruh, director of Thunderbird’s Lincoln Center for Ethics in International Management. “Future business leaders will have to find innovative solutions that create simultaneous value for both the company and the world at large. And there is no better group to challenge than those MBAs from around the world that will have to create and implement ideas for a sustainable and prosperous future.”
German students Philipp Pausder and Tobias Schirmer, Macedonian Blagoja Hamamdziev and Mexican Guillermo Ortega presented their work called “Disruptive Thoughts” to a jury integrated by experts in innovation and CSR, including entrepreneurs, business men, consultants and academics. Among other 85 business schools and 10 finalists, they have won a cash prize of $20,000 as well as the title “2007 Global Champions of Sustainable Innovation”. IE Students won at the same competition last year, which was named Global Citizenship Challenge back then, an outstanding 3rd Place.
“Too often, the tools of innovation are deployed in the pursuit of riches and the cost of failure is seen as simply foregone fortune,” said keynote speaker Michael Raynor of Deloitte Consulting LLP and the bestselling author of “The Innovator’s Solution” and “The Strategy Paradox.” “By injecting the concept of sustainability, this event recognizes that failure has a real cost, and innovators that ‘swing for the fence’ and dismissively accept the cost of ‘striking out’ are taking an irresponsible approach to risk.”
Congratulations to you all!
Take a look at all the Business Schools which took part on the challenge.


The Hub Rotterdam

Written on March 23, 2007 by Max Oliva in Social Entrepreneurship

Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
Hub Rotterdam.jpg
You’ve read about The Hub, a space for social innovation. Well, if you live in the Netherlands and want to be part of the Hub Rotterdam, an incubator for social, sustainable innovation, don’t miss the chance!
Starting this Saturday, March 24th, they are arranging a few dates to connect with fellow innovators out in the real world.
“There are still tons of things left to be done at the Hub “building site”…so we are looking for people who would like to lend a hand. You don’t have to be a whiz-kid or technical handyman, anyone can learn! :-)”
Food, (live) music and fun will be catered for!
They have made a working schedule; if you can make any of the times just send an email to
How about the Soweto Hub? Or the Joburg Hub? See these and other hubs in action!


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
The World Resources Institute and the International Finance Corporation have just released “The Next 4 Billion” report.
Based on the works of C.K. Prahalad and his book on “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” (which alerted private sector businesses to the importance of the market at the base of the pyramid); this report complements this work, building further on the conversation, providing a quantitative assessment and characterization of BOP markets. Here is an excerpt of their executive summary:
The 4 billion people at the base of the economic pyramid (BOP)—all those with incomes below $3,000 in local purchasing power—live in relative poverty. The wealthier mid-market population segment, the 1.4 billion people with per capita incomes between $3,000 and $20,000, represents a $12.5 trillion market globally. This market is largely urban, already relatively well served, and extremely competitive. On the other hand, this four billion low-income people who live in relative poverty and are underserved, have purchasing power representing a $5 trillion market.
BOP Market.jpg
Data from national household surveys in 110 countries show that the BOP makes up 72% of the 5,575 million people recorded by the surveys and an overwhelming majority of the population in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean—home to nearly all the BOP.
Striking patterns also emerge in spending. Not surprisingly, food dominates BOP household budgets. As incomes rise, however, the share spent on food declines, while the share for housing remains relatively constant—and the shares for transportation and telecommunications grow rapidly. In all regions half of BOP household spending on health goes to pharmaceuticals. And in all except Eastern Europe the lower income segments of the BOP depend mainly on firewood as a cooking fuel, the higher segments on propane or other modern fuels.
That these substantial markets remain underserved is to the detriment of BOP households. Business is also missing out. But there is now enough information about these markets, and enough experience with viable business strategies, to justify far closer business attention to the opportunities they represent. Market-based approaches also warrant far more attention in the development community, for the potential benefits they offer in bringing more of the BOP into the formal economy and in improving the delivery of essential services to this large population segment.
The full report is available online in downloadable PDF format.
You can access the full report, as well as see all its chapters on PPT presentations.


A standout team of IMBA students steps up to the challenge and claims a spot among the top ten teams in contention for the grand prize in the thunderbird sustainable innovation challenge competition
IE Team 2.jpg
Driven by their smarts and appetite for success, the team of four IE protégés await their chance to present their work in front of the judges panel at Thunderbird’s Sustainable Innovation Summit, which will be held later this month in Phoenix, Arizona.
Madrid, Spain (March 9th, 2007) – As if going through an intensive and rigorous one-year MBA program of the caliber of the IE’s International MBA weren’t enough, a group of students took up the challenge of competing in the Thunderbird Sustainable Innovation Challenge and now find themselves among an elite circle of forward thinking teams vying to win the contest’s top honors. What’s more, the four-member team that will be representing IE Business School at the Thunderbird’s Sustainable Innovation Summit in late March will also be the only team from a European business school.
Camino de Paz, Program Director of MBAs at IE Business School, expressed the school’s support for the student-led team and stated, “At this point in the game, these four students have already demonstrated an incredible amount of drive, vision, and commitment – all qualities that resonate strongly with our institution’s core values. It is an honor to have them represent IE Business School name in such a prestigious and high profile competition”.
The contest, which put 85 post graduate teams on a head-to-head competition to see who delivers the most compelling and ground-breaking piece of work, aims to create innovative solutions to real world business challenges that reflect a commitment to economically, environmentally and socially sound business practices. Competing teams come from the most highly regarded business schools in the United States, Europe and Asia, including MIT Sloan, HEC, IMD, CEIBES, among others.

Read more…


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
TED 2007.jpg
If there where any place where I would like to be today instead of “not yet so sunny Madrid”, it would either be at a paradisiacal beach in the Mayan Riviera or, last but not least, at the TED 2007 conference in Monterey.
Jeff Skoll, Bill Clinton, News photographer James Nachtwey, Biologist E.O. Wilson, Tracy Chapman, Richard Branson, Hans Rosling and many others are taking part in these conversations.
Several bloggers are following the event and you can also visit Teds Blog to get a glimpse of the conversations that are taking place as we speak. These will be uploaded on their site at Ted Talks, space of which we have previously spoken on this blog. You can still see some remarkable speakers there and be patient for the upload of this year’s conferences.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
Hub working space.jpg
How about a real space that fosters social innovation? A space where social entrepreneurship can be breathed on every corner. This has been The Hub in London experience. Their core product is flexible membership of inspirational and highly resourced habitats in the world’s major cities for social innovators to work, meet, learn, connect and realise progressive ideas. It is now present in London, Bristol, Johannesburg, Sao Paulo and Cairo. But the conversation is ongoing and advanced in the Netherlands, Mumbai, Berlin, Belgium, Halifax, Mexico and has several synergies with the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, which is a “convergence facility” for the social mission community, The Melting Pot in Edinburgh and others.
Hub kitchen library lounge.jpg
The market need is expressed by social innovators whose ability to thrive requires access to highly resourced, flexible and safe spaces within which to scale up, change gear, take risks and make mistakes. Over time, social innovators need access to a range of just-in-time resources and market-facing opportunities to thrive: knowledge, capital and networks. The Hub provides channels to such resources and opportunities, without crushing the innovators initial spark and ingenuity.
We are engaging on a couple of action led conversations, one of which includes the openning of a hub like space in Madrid. If you want to be part of this conversation contact me.
Hub Members board.jpgHub spaces.jpg


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
Hub rojo sillon 2.jpg
You’ve got things to do. People to meet. Ideas to realise. Events to host. A business to run. So what’s the deal? You need the flexibility to scale up, wind down, change gear, move on. You need a space you can call your own. You need a safe space, professional space, dynamic space. That is, A Space for Social Innovation.
Next week I’ll be at The Hub in London and Briston, attending “The Art of Hosting Spaces for Social Innovation”. What? An international seminar and inquiry exploring the art of crafting and hosting spaces that incubate imaginative initiatives for a radically better world. Why? A new model and pattern is emerging in physical and virtual spaces that support pioneering social initiatives. These habitats create the conditions for collaboration, serendipity and emergence such that value is created far in excess of the sum of their parts.
Hub Zaid 2.jpg
The objective is to build a network of inspirational habitats in major world cities for social innovators to work, meet, learn, connect and realise progressive ideas. The Hub is a place for making things happen. All the tools and trimmings needed to cultivate an idea, launch a project, host a meeting and run a business.
Over time, social innovators need access to a range of just-in-time resources and market-facing opportunities to thrive: knowledge, capital and networks. The Hub provides channels to such resources and opportunities, without crushing the innovators initial spark and ingenuity.
Well, these and many other conversations will take place next week. Hope to be able to post on a daly basis, in order to start the conversation of The Hub Madrid. Up to now The Hub in Madrid is what I have in mind as providing this social innovation stretch, a space where MBA alumni and others can start their social enterprises, meet, interact and learn from practitioners in the community and abroad. At the same time, these practitioners certainly will be enriched by the business perspective of value creation that IE MBAs can offer. Bluntly speaking, it is a great model which makes perfect sense on my mind. I’m certain that my perception will still change 180 or 360 degrees next week, hopefully bringing it closer to the right direction.
Hub at work 2.jpgHub cafe 2.jpg
hub world small.jpgHub lap top 2.jpg


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
Africa Map.jpg
A €1.16 billion program is being funded in order to encourage drug companies to come up with vaccines to help prevent pneumonia and meningitis, intended to save the lives of more than 5 million children by 2030, in the world’s poorest countries.
The idea of the fund, which is to begin with the pilot program in pneumococcal disease, is to act as a bridge between poorer countries and drug firms. Italy, Canada, Norway, Russia and Britain are the first countries to back up the fund. The plan is to subsidise the future purchase of vaccines, hoping to serve as an incentive in order to bring drug firms into action.
If a developing country agrees it needs a drug which industry can develop, the fund provides a commitment to purchase the vaccines once they are produced.
“The key aim is to ensure there is secure funding for the vaccines urgently needed in the poorest countries, where thousands of children die every day from diseases that can be prevented,” Paul Wolfowitz, World Bank President
Companies must agree to sell the new vaccine at a price that developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America can afford. After a period of 7-10 years, vaccine producers are to continue supplying their products, at a discounted price.
On another note, the first large-scale trial of an HIV vaccine is set to begin in South Africa. Three thousand HIV negative men and women who are sexually active will be immunised in a 4 year study.
This is a highly needed element in Public Private Partnerships. Pharmaceutical companies have their very important and fundamental role to play, but so do governments from developed and developing economies, NGO’s, other agencies and philanthropists, in order to generate incentives which increase R&D of neglected diseases, which still is in a low 10% of the whole R&D expenditure.
Learn more about The Global Fund and their January 2007 Africa Update.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on vaccine preventable diesases.
Learn about the International Aids Vaccine Initiative.

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