MBA Impact Investing Competition at Wharton Triples in Size | TopMBA.com

MBA Impact Investing Competition at Wharton Triples in Size

By Visnja Milidragovic

Updated July 3, 2019 Updated July 3, 2019

A record number of 25 schools from the US and Europe competed for the chance to invest US$50,000 in a real-life social enterprise by participating in the 2016 edition of an annual impact investing competition for MBAs.

The MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) competition drew 600 students to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School campus - three times more than last year and the biggest turnout in its history.

The winner this year was a team from MIT Sloan School of Management, which received a US$50,000 investment for their choice of social enterprise – an innovative financial inclusion business that helps people in Latin America gain access to credit. London Business School and York University’s Schulich School of Business tied for second with a US$25,000 investment each, for equally innovative startups; one, a social enterprise looking to commercialize a more energy-efficient  electric motor, and the other, a business that supplies prosthetics for amputees, respectively. Each of these three schools was participating in this impact investing competition for the first time in 2016, with Schulich the first ever to represent Canada. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business rounded out the top five.

MIINT showcases rising interest in impact investing and social enterprise

The impact investing competition was held as part of the MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) program, an experimental lab co-produced by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) and specialist fund manager Bridges Ventures. The competition is the culmination of the MIINT program, in which students apply what they’ve learned in training modules taken over six months, by sourcing and conducting diligence on early stage impact investments and then pitching them to an industry panel for potential funding. In an effort to educate the next generation of business leaders in the growing field of impact investing, the finals held at Wharton also present a pipeline of talent and social enterprise investment opportunities for participants working in the field.

The growth of the MIINT program underscores the rising popularity of impact investing and social entrepreneurship in business education and, indeed, in business more broadly. Last year, Jacob Gray, senior director of the WSII, maintained that it was time to expand the program to meet rising demand, now that impact investing is at the cusp of broader market acceptance, particularly among millennials. Investors, for their part, are also growing more conscious of how business decisions create an impact that is wider than the bottom line alone, challenging business schools to better prepare students for this shift in mindset.

This article was originally published in May 2016 . It was last updated in July 2019

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Visnja is a content specialist with a background in marketing and communications. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of British Columbia and a master's in publishing from Simon Fraser University. Her interests include media & technology, personal growth, health & wellness, and innovation, topics that stay top of mind in her writing.

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