Prior to INSEAD, I had worked for four years in financial markets advisories in the US, and by coming to INSEAD, I always hoped that I would be able to do something that I had never done and go somewhere that I had never been. A summer at African Leadership Finance Company (ALFC) in Nairobi, Kenya hit two birds with one stone with the help of the INSEAD Social Impact Award. The reason for doing this internship was threefold:
Sustainability is an issue that impacts everyone. As the world population is growing exponentially, resources are dwindling. Our planet is battling with deforestation, global warming and pollution, often caused by reckless greed in the pursuit of business. At the same time, over one billion people in the world are hungry and almost as many are without access to safe water.
INSEAD MBA Alumna Elena Panaritis is the founder of Panel Group, a social enterprise which helps countries to establish secure property rights. She talks about creating a social enterprise, the extra skills social entrepreneurs need, and her spell as an MP in post-crisis Greece. In this video she talks about raising money, skills needed for social entrepreneurs, and how to effectively realise a social enterprise vision.
According to the 2018-2019 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, 78.7% of the U.S. population believes that entrepreneurs are held in high regard, and the country has had a record-breaking boom cycle since 2010. Despite these promising numbers, only about 10% of startups last longer than 10 years. What makes the difference between a company’s success or failure? Here’s what you need to know to ensure your business’s success.
In this episode of In The Know, we discuss MBA careers and leadership in entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on social ventures. Also called social entrepreneurship, this entails the use of start-up companies and other entrepreneurs to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues. Listen on to discover how INSEAD nurtures budding entrepreneurs, Featuring: Daniel Layug, INSEAD MBA'17D
Unlike most of my INSEAD classmates, I had lived and worked in a single country prior to stepping foot on the snowy Fontainebleau campus in January 2018. That country is South Africa, a vibrant nation with a scarred history. South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world, compounded by an unemployment rate of 26.7% and youth unemployment of 38.2%1. With creeping budget deficits and limited fiscal capacity, solutions to societal challenges need to be led by the private sector.
One of INSEAD’s application essays asks you to write about your short and long term career aspirations with your MBA from INSEAD. I wrote about building a renewable energy company to bring power to the unelectrified areas of Africa. I wonder how many people actually end up following through on what they wrote. In a way, it's part of the INSEAD experience that you end up on an adventure that you could not have imagined before. Somehow, though, for my summer internship, I found myself doing exactly what I wrote about, working for a pay-as-you-go solar startup in Nairobi, Kenya.
I joined INSEAD after spending a few years in corporate roles in consulting and insurance. For the two-month summer break, I knew that I wanted to try something different. When I saw the posting about a position at Kumwe Harvest on CareerGlobe I knew that I had found the right opportunity for me.
Choosing what to do on your summer internship is tricky. Should you look for something that helps you build skills that might be useful for your next job? Something that would look good in your CV? Perhaps you can take those eight weeks off and do some social impact work? It turns out that those are not mutually exclusive options. This summer I had the great opportunity to spend two months working at a social impact start-up.
The end of October 2017 was the highlight of my journey this year. I was invited to the Obama Foundation Summit, worked with a team of the Summit to feature a profile video of my past work through the OTP foundation, and got connected with numerous amazing civic leaders from all over the world.