The Fall of SunEdison – A Solar Eclipse?

19 June 2017 | Cases | Energy, Finance, Resources

Abstract In 2016, one of the largest renewable energy companies in the world, US-based SunEdison Inc., filed for bankruptcy when it couldn’t service the debt it had raised to achieve aggressive growth. SunEdison had had an illustrious past; it had grown to become the largest solar installation company in the US and a global  renewable energy giant. By 2016, solar power had attained grid parity in some parts of the world and solar was reaching its peak growth in the developed world. Governments from the developed world, which were boosting solar power through tax rebates and subsidies were rolling back their incentivization schemes and resorting to stricter guidelines for green project funding.. On the other hand, there was... »

A Burrito without integrity: Is this Chipotle for me?

19 June 2017 | Cases | Finance

Abstract This case, developed primarily from secondary sources, describes the founding of Chipotle Mexican Grill (Chipotle, hereafter) in 1993 by Steve Ells and its rapid ascent to popularity as a fast-casual restaurant based on its unique socially responsible Food with Integrity strategy. Under the leadership of founder-CEO Steve Ells and co-CEO Montgomery Moran, Chipotle outperformed the S&P 500 as well as its rivals since its IPO in 2006.  However, in 2015, the multiple food contamination outbreaks reversed its course, plunging its stock price to an all-time low. In spite of the prompt actions taken by Chipotle’s leadership, the company’s stock price did not regain its pre-scandal highs in the stock market. However, on September 6, 2016, news of... »

Ten Thousand Villages in Crisis: Can the Fair Trade Pioneer Survive and Flourish in an Economic Downturn?

Abstract This two-part case examines a major reorganization process which took place at Ten Thousand Villages Canada in 2013, as a response to severe challenges from the aftermath of the 2007-08 global financial crisis. Ten Thousand Villages is one of the oldest fair trade organizations in North America, whose history can be traced back to craft sales in 1946. The case was developed in close collaboration with managers and volunteers of Ten Thousand Villages Canada, as well as their producer partners in Kenya. The Part A case provides an overview of Ten Thousand Villages (e.g., history, producer partnerships, operation in Canada) and the financial challenges faced by the organization in 2013. Part A facilitates the discussion of how... »

Bridge International Academies

Abstract Bridge International Academy (Bridge), the world’s largest and fastest growing private school chain, is known for its radically innovative “Academy-in-a-Box” model, which is a scalable and easily replicable model that offers low cost unique solutions to the problem of quality education to children at the bottom of the pyramid. With the mission of providing ‘Knowledge for All’ Bridge has enrolled more than one hundred thousand students in Kenya and other developing countries. The unique model revolves around the developing of rigorous course content by expert teachers from around the world and the “Scripted Instruction Methodology” to ensure standardization of delivery in the classrooms. The model that delivers affordable education at about $6 a month needs to scale... »

Dharani: Nurturing the earth, fostering farmers’ livelihoods

Abstract Timbaktu Collective is a non-profit organization in southern India, working for the sustainable development of rural communities with an emphasis on ecological principles and social harmony. One of the core areas of its work is with small farmers in the region who remained marginalized in a fiercely competitive market dominated by large players. Inspired by its success with organic farming and in collectivizing rural people Timbaktu Collective promoted a business enterprise for procuring, processing and marketing the organic produce of farmer-members in the district of Anantapuramu. In 2008, Dharani Farming and Mutually Aided Co-operative Society Limited (Dharani) was started as a farmer owned, cooperative enterprise that procures and sells the members’ organic produce. This case discusses how... »

Refugee Labor Market Integration – An Impact Investment Case Study

Abstract The dislocation of millions of people in various conflict zones of the Middle East and Africa is one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of our time. Given the complexity of the issue, various ways of solving the associated challenges have been implemented; reaching from emergency camps in conflict zones to innovative integration services in host countries. With overloaded government processes and too little funding, it is of utmost importance to fund and scale up effective integration services. Successful integration depends to a large extent on promoting the required abilities to build a self- sustained life. As such, labor market integration of refugees becomes of crucial importance first and foremost for themselves, yet successful integration also bears major... »

Tongwei – Sustainability Entrepreneurship through Market-Political Ambidexterity

19 June 2017 | Cases

Abstract Tongwei Group (China) (hereinafter referred to as “Tongwei”), started as an aqua-feed (fish feed) producer in the 1980’s when the country was just beginning the economic opening up policy. The company’s world-leading technologies in aqua-feed and pet feed earned itself international reputation and political spotlight, and it was entitled as the country’s “Key Leading Enterprise in Agricultural Industrialization”. However, even with such a leading position in aqua-feed market, Tongwei decided to enter the photovoltaics (PV) energy industry in 2006, when solar energy industry was advocated as a booming strategic new industry in many regions in China. Did Tongwei, like many other Chinse private enterprises, simply rush to this industry with blindness? Or did it enter it with... »

Wind in the Sails: Managing Social Acceptance of Large Wind Energy Projects in Switzerland

Abstract Shortly after the Fukushima meltdown of 2011, the Swiss government developed an Energy Strategy 2050, aimed to build up renewable energy capacity, improve energy efficiency and phase out nuclear energy. Yet, growth in the wind sector had been disappointing. This case study examines the factors that took the wind out of sails of large wind projects in Switzerland, paying special attention to the risks associated with public policy and stakeholder opposition. Though focusing on Switzerland, the lessons learned from the case study are applicable internationally, with multiple examples of large infrastructure projects being halted or severely delayed by public opposition and red tape. Staged in May 2017, the case centers around Nadine Haller, who has been developing... »

Coming to Fruition: Fresh Truck Aims to Increase Food Access in Boston

Abstract Founded in 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts, Fresh Truck is a mobile fresh produce market focused on increasing access to fresh produce and nutrition education in Boston’s low-income neighborhoods. Fresh Truck is a non-profit social enterprise that earns revenue through the sale of fresh produce in various Boston neighborhoods. It has become a key part of Boston’s food access ecosystem, which includes health care centers, the City of Boston, and other non-profit organizations. To date, Fresh Truck has attracted funding through a business plan competition, a Kickstarter campaign and grants that have helped to launch two trucks serving its mission. However, to expand, Fresh Truck faces a number of key management, logistical and operational challenges that affect its... »

eVidyaloka: Digital Classrooms for Underprivileged

19 June 2017 | Cases | Education, Entrepreneurship

Abstract eVidyaloka, founded by a techie and a Chartered Accountant who quit their promising careers to follow their heart, aims to disseminate education to the poorest of the poor of the Indian society. For a country with a population of 1.2 billion, where 1 out of 4 people is under the age of 14, the future depends highly on its ability to provide quality education to this young generation. The crisis in education sector ranges from resource crunch to quality of teaching itself. Venkat and Satish, the founders of eVidyaloka, created a model that would connect passionate volunteer-teachers across the world through live, interactive online classes for rural children via the digital classroom setups in the village schools.... »