From 20-22 April, the IE Net Impact Chapter held its second annual Impact Weekend.  The event was a 60-hour, hands-on, innovative startup experience that brought together 25 students from IE Business School along with social entrepreneurs from across Spain and aspiring social entrepreneurs from the IE student body to share ideas and develop socially responsible business plans.  

Roshni Dairy,” a project developed by IE November 2011 intake IMBA students Ranjana Sharma and Carlos Dominguez Estrabeu won the competition and will have direct access to the Venture Lab, IE’s startup accelerator program.  Over the course of the weekend, Ranjana and Carlos were teamed up with April 2012 intake IMBA students Tanya Shariff, Yakir Golan, and Rohit Ghan, and mentored by social business professionals, to further develop their idea. 

Roshni Dairy is a cooperative that seeks to provide millions of women who live in rural areas of Madhya Pradesh District, India, with economic empowerment through agricultural training, ownership of and employment in, a dairy that pays a living wage, and enabling investment in cattle. “Being born and brought up in rural area, I have closely seen the livelihood of women and their struggle for identity & self-respect. Through Roshni I would like to help them to be self-reliant and encourage them to be part of social welfare programs,” stated Ranjana. Expressing her satisfaction with the weekend’s activities, she added that Impact Weekend “gave me an accelerated path to achieve my goals. My mentors at Impact Weekend helped me a lot to fine tune my business plan and the whole team had put its best efforts to make a sound business plan.

Furthermore, the top three teams—which, in addition to Roshni Dairy, include Greenvest, an environmental crowd-funding platform created by IMBA student Rachel Stern and Elements, a company that would sell Indian handcrafts for use as corporate gifts, paying fair-trade wages to artisans, created by MIM students Aman Goel and Gustavo Salinas—will have the opportunity to pitch their business plans to additional investors at an IE Venture Network event. 

Yvonne Krywyj (IMBA Nov-2011): Article author & one of the Impact Weekend organizers

Liz Fleming, Executive Director, IE Venture Lab, was one of the five investors that evaluated the final presentations, alongside representatives from Fondo Creas, Ashoka pain, Cabiedes & Partners, and THESYS.  

IE Impact Weekend, created by students from IE Net Impact Club and IE Venture Lab, leverages IE Business School’s business savvy and strong culture of entrepreneurship to empower both social entrepreneurs and students with the tools to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world through business. Following a highly competitive series of Pitch Your Peers events, a total of five ideas were developed throughout the weekend by participants, with valuable mentoring advice provided by established social entrepreneurs from organizations which included SocialNest, Kiubick, Puentes Global, Philanthropic Intelligence, Fondo Creas, and Hallman & Burke.

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