Presenting the Winners:

2014 NextBillion Case Writing Competition


Sponsored by the Citi Foundation and administered by GlobaLens, this year’s global NextBillion Case Writing Competition attracted entrants from over 34 universities and 15 countries. We invite you to review the following, award-winning cases about business strategies aimed at alleviating poverty, especially in the developing world.



CaseAfrican Solar Rise: Electrifying Rural Tanzania
School: HEC Paris
Authors: Sam Aflaki, assistant professor operations management & information technology; Andrea Masini, associate professor operations management & information technology
Case Summary: The founder/CEO of African Solar Rise (ASR), a German NGO providing solar energy solutions in Tanzania, must find ways to scale up the organization's operations. One challenge is improving supply chain operations and last-mile distribution in underdeveloped, rural Tanzania. Another challenge is how to finance operations heavily reliant on donations, yet make solar energy affordable to people who live on a few dollars a day. This case is appropriate for courses about base of the pyramid, social entrepreneurship, supply chain, and finance.


Case: Narayana Nethralaya: Expanding Affordable Eye Care 
School: Indian Institute of Management - Bangalore
Authors: G Shainesh, professor of marketing, chair-executive post graduate program; Suhruta Kulkarni, case writer
Case Summary: Dr. Anand Vinekar launched the Karanataka Internet-assisted Diagnosis of Retinopathy of Prematurity (KIDROP) initiative at Narayana Nethralaya, a specialty eye-care hospital in India. Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) affects prematurely born babies and can lead to blindness. Though ROP diagnosis and treatment are simple and inexpensive, awareness among the poor is low. Dr. Anand looks to scale up the initiative and evaluates self-sustainable service models.

Case: Genesis of a Green Brand in the Mayan Rainforest

Schools: Rollins College (Winter Park, FL); Universidad Panamericana / IPADE Business School (Mexico)
Authors: Mary Conway Data-on, associate professor (Rollins); Silvia Cacho-Elizondo, assistant professor (IPADE) 
Case Summary: The Mayan gum grower's consortium has only three months to prepare the launch of the first organic, biodegradable gum at the world's largest organic food trade show. The consortium, known as chicleros, challenges a consultant to build a brand identity, as well as go-to-market strategy to achieve margins high enough to improve producer living conditions and enable long-term community sustainability.

Case: Healthy City: Fostering Entrepreneurship at the Base of the Pyramid. A Peruvian Experience.
School:  INCAE Business School (Nicaragua)
Authors: Felipe Perez-Pineda, professor; Carlos Martinez, research assistant 
Case Summary: Since 2001, Healthy City - a Peruvian NGO - has been addressing the country's solid waste problems via various recycling and other environmental programs funded by international organizations. To become more financially independent, Healthy City's founder, Albina Ruiz, created two consulting entities but conflict had emerged between them due to overlapping functions. Ruiz now contemplates how to strengthen the overall organization.

Case: The Jaipur Foot: Challenges in Leading a Free Service Organization
School: Indian Institute of Management - Bangalore
Authors: U Dinesh Kumar, professor quantitative methods & information systems; Menaka Rao, case writer
Case Summary: The Jaipur Foot is an artificial prosthetic provided free to the underprivileged by BMVSS, a non-profit organization in India. D.R. Mehta, chief patron, established BMVSS in 1975 and has run it for 37 years. But the organization now needs a successor. Would financial sustainability be at stake with Mehta's departure? And what about donor fatigue in India? Is it the right time for the organization to expand?

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