Award-Winning Business Case Focuses on Rebuilding Homes in New Orleans

6.1.2011 General, News Release, School News

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest University Schools of Business alumnus Michael Nestor (MBA ’10) under the supervision of Dan Fogel, Executive Professor of Strategy, was honored for a business case focusing on an environmentally sustainable way to rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. “Habitat for Humanity: Implementing a Global Strategy Locally” earned a 5th Place Award and a $100 cash prize in the NextBillion 2011 Case Writing Competition.

The NextBillion 2011 Case Writing Competition, currently in its second year, recognizes and publishes the best new business cases on Social Enterprise or Base of the Pyramid (BoP) topics. The goal of the annual competition is to engage students and faculty on campuses globally in the emerging field of Social Enterprise. All of this year’s case submissions were required to describe organizations that have both a specific social objective and seek long-term self-financing.

Nestor’s case described how Henry Smith, Director of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, has been encouraged by the Habitat for Humanity headquarters to begin building affordable, environmentally sustainable homes, which seem to be attracting much donor and foundation support. Smith must decide if and how to facilitate this new strategy, taking into account various questions: Can and should the New Orleans affiliate do both rehabilitation and environmental sustainability programs at once? What is the best way to implement it in New Orleans? Will this be consistent with the organization’s philosophy?

“Michael took the initiative to bring his experience to the classroom,” said Fogel. “I use the case in my strategy classes and Michael attends the classes to interact with students about the nuances of the case and lessons learned.”

“I'm thrilled to think this can become a useful tool in the classroom and very much look forward to participating in its continued use, especially at Wake Forest,” said Nestor.

In addition to Wake Forest, other winning teams include: Emory University, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington; University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor; and Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Some of the other participating schools included: Cornell University, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.

The case from Wake Forest, along with the other winners, has been published by GlobaLens, the publishing division of The William Davidson Institute, and can be found at (www.globalens.com).

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NextBillion is the premier blog and online resource on market-based approaches to poverty alleviation. NextBillion acts as a discussion forum and knowledge base for business leaders, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, policy makers, and academics interested in business strategies that improve the lives of those at the Base of the Pyramid – the world's approximately four billion low-income producers and consumers.