U-Md. Robert H. Smith School of Business and USAID Announce Winners
of the First “Global Challenge” Competition
College Park, Md. – April 27, 2010 – The University of
Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID) have named the winners of the first
Global Challenge, a first-of-its-kind competition
that challenged teams of MBA and other graduate students to develop a
public-private venture to support development and the tourism industry in Asia.
Placing first and receiving the grand prize of $5,000 was a Smith School team
with a pitch for sustainable micro-tourism home stay program in Thailand.
The teams pitched their business solutions at USAID’s headquarters in the
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. on April
23, where they were judged by representatives from USAID, industry-leading
private sector companies, and NGOs. A joint team from the Johns Hopkins School
of Advanced International Studies and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton
School of Business received second place and $2,500 with a pitch for a Cambodian
wildlife sanctuary and ecolodge. Third place and $1,000 went to a Smith School
team who pitched public-private partnership for medical tourism in Vietnam.
Eight finalist teams were selected from 65 registered teams across 32
universities. Finalists had 15 minutes to present their proposed public-private
alliances before an audience and a distinguished panel of judges: Roger Conrad,
acting regional director and CEO of the Inter-America and Pacific region of the
Peace Corps; Roberta Hilbruner, chair of the USAID Sustainable Tourism Working
Group and manager of the Global Sustainable Tourism Alliance; Kenneth A. Lanza,
senior director of management for USAID’s CEO; and Luis Oganes, managing
director and head of Latin America Research at the Emerging Markets Research
Group of J.P. Morgan in New York. Alonzo L. Fulgham, chief operating officer of
USAID, served as the keynote speaker for the event.
“At the Smith School, we measure true success not only by profit-making, but
also in fostering the creation of social values and taking all stakeholders into
consideration,” said G. “Anand” Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H. Smith School
of Business. “This competition challenged MBA and graduate students from across
the country to create business plans that struck a balance between these values,
harnessing their business acumen and passion to create solutions that would help
businesses while simultaneously reducing poverty.”
The concepts addressed in the Global Challenge are a top priority for USAID
and are closely related to Global Engagement, one of the key themes of President
Obama’s foreign policy, which seeks to address development challenges by
engaging and empowering local stakeholders.
Aside from cash prizes, the competition also offered students the opportunity
to connect with leading experts in the international development and business
communities, receive guidance and build invaluable relationships with other
students. In addition, the winning teams will have their work published and
distributed to international development professionals around the world.
The Global Challenge was sponsored by USAID’s Business Growth Initiative and
the Smith School’s Center for International Business Education and Research
(CIBER) and Center for Social Value Creation. The Center for Social Value
Creation launched in September 2009 with a mission to engage students in courses
and experiential learning programs to enable them to become global leaders who
understand how to use business as a vehicle for both economic prosperity and
transformative social change, and to support faculty research in related areas.
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About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader
in management education and research. One of 13 colleges and schools at the
University of Maryland at College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate,
full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, Ph.D. and executive
education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The
school offers its degree, custom and certification programs at locations in
North America and Asia.