Institute for Business in the Global Context

Where the World of Business Meets the World

Month: November 2016

Impact investing at Fletcher: Students seek early stage social ventures to fund via the MIINT competition

by the Fletcher Social Investment Group (FSIG)

Of the myriad opportunities that Fletcher students have to study business in the global context, one such is the opportunity to represent Fletcher at the MBA Impact Investing network and Training (MIINT) competition. This is Fletcher’s second year sending a student team to the competition, which offers an experiential learning program designed to let students to step into the shoes of an impact investor and get first-hand experience identifying and valuing prospective investments. Over the course of the academic year, students source, screen, diligence and ultimately pitch an early stage social venture to an investment committee in April at the Wharton School. The winning team’s company will receive up to $50,000 towards a total seed round of $250,000 to $1,000,000.

This year’s team, organized by the Fletcher Social Investment Group (FSIG) and partially sponsored by the IBGC, is currently in the sourcing stage of the competition. To do this, they are leveraging Fletcher’s uniquely international network to identify sustainable business models that more efficiently deliver key products or services and improve quality of life for individuals in emerging markets. Through their businesses, ideal companies should increase the affordability, accessibility, and usage of life-changing products and services. For more information, check out the team’s investment thesis here.


The team has just three weeks left to source the best deals possible before identifying a shortlist of companies on which to conduct due diligence. If you or those in your network know of any companies that meet the below investment criteria, the team would love to consider them for investment.

Interested in supporting Fletcher’s MIINT team?

“The Inclusive Innovators” – Business & the SDGs

by Bhaskar Chakravorti

Read “The Inclusive Innovators: 10 Questions | 20 Business Leaders | 17 Sustainable Development Goals”

Inclusive business — the pursuit of opportunities in traditionally unattractive or currently unprofitable market segments – is, increasingly, a strategic imperative for companies. Foregoing such segments could mean opening the door to disruption and closing it to options for future growth; this is an especially crucial concern that relates to developing economies, which represent the world’s faster-growth markets over the long-term. The idea of inclusion encompasses being inclusive of future generations and, by extension, underscores the need for responsible stewardship of the environment, natural resources and supply chains. In other words, sustainability is integral to inclusive business.

Inclusive InnovatorsIn light of many of the dramatic political developments of 2016, such as the Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential elections, we can expect that governments of advanced economies will scale back their investments in international cooperation and global sustainable development, in favor of focusing on job creation at home. This will heighten the expectations from other sectors – the private sector, in particular – to step in and help fill the void. Pursuing business-as-usual objectives in parallel with inclusive business will require new models of innovation and partnership with other sectors. When successful, such “inclusive innovators” can pave the way for global growth, development and inclusive prosperity.

In January of 2016, the United Nations initiated a new global agenda leading up to 2030 through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched in the fall of 2015. Unlike their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs consider the private sector as an essential participant in the process. The initiation of these new goals presents businesses and other sectors with a unique opportunity to expand the cadre of inclusive innovators who can accelerate progress on sustainable development worldwide.

This report is the outcome of a year-long in‐depth research effort involving over 20 global companies spanning a broad range of industries, conducted by The Fletcher School at Tufts University. It is part of Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context research and conference initiative on inclusive growth.

The report is the third in a series. The first report, “Growth for Good or Good for Growth,” analyzes the drivers and barriers affecting the practice of inclusive business activities within a wide range of businesses; the second report, “Inclusion Inc.” shared perspectives on operationalizing these activities and outcomes of live problem-solving in a major conference held at The Fletcher School. “The Inclusive Innovators”, the third report of the series, applies the strategies, lessons, and insights from 20 well known global companies to identify ways in which businesses can leverage the SDGs to join sustainable business with sustainable development, as well as address several of the challenges that would need to be overcome.

We hope you will read critically, ask your own questions, challenge what needs to be challenged, and continue the discussion. Most significantly, we expect that this process shall have a positive impact on the actions that businesses and their partners take to improve the state of an increasingly fragile and divided world.

Read “The Inclusive Innovators: 10 Questions | 20 Business Leaders | 17 Sustainable Development Goals”

Predicting the Trump Presidency: How I Blew It

It has been almost a week and I am still not prepared for President Trump. I was sure that Hillary Clinton had it in the bag. I had convinced myself that Donald Trump’s arresting, but toxic, message, his misogyny and rage against the “other”, together with his general lack of discipline, organization or depth would do him in. Reassuringly, the polls were confirming that the electorate also agreed.

Of course, I was wrong. Of course, it is easy enough to declare it a “black swan”, the equivalent of “stuff happens; don’t blame me”, and move on. I simply couldn’t. How did I — and almost every “expert” I know or read or meet at conferences — get it so spectacularly wrong?

Read the full post from Dean Chakravorti at The Huffington Post

The Fletcher D-Prize: Ready to Work Yourself into an Internship/Job that has Real Impact?

Interested in taking a proven poverty solution and bringing it the last mile to people who really need it?
Want a summer experience which tests your sustainable development skills in an emerging market?
Ready to work yourself into an internship/job that has real impact with little downside risk?

The Fletcher D-Prize is all that and more.  You can use the summer to tackle some of the world’s greatest development challenges with a proven poverty solution AND potentially create your next job, all while having a great learning experience.  The deadline to apply is midnight, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7th.

Learn more about the Fletcher D-Prize

All it takes is……

  1. Pick a challenge – and a corresponding proven poverty solution
  2. Enroll a Fletcher/Tufts/other student(s)/alumni to be on your team
  3. Download your application packet here
  4. Submit your 2 page concept note and resumes here by midnight, Monday, Nov 7th

***To help, Rocky Weitz, The Fletcher School entrepreneur coach in residence, has set aside all day Friday, November 4th  from 10:00am – 5:00pm  to meet and help brainstorm your application.
Email him at  with “D-PRIZE – Office Hours Request” in the subject line, and you will get priority! Rocky can also help match you up to other team members. ***