On Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, the Center for Global Business at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business hosted 10 teams from eight top MBA schools for the Fourth Annual Emerging Markets Case Competition. The quote: “Intelligence, ability and the willingness to work are evenly distributed around the world, but the opportunities are not,” was shared by Smith Schools’ Emerging Markets Association President Eileen Little as a hint to students on the type of challenge they would soon face.
The competition challenged MBA students to develop a winning financial and sustainable business model in response to a case on Tunapanda Institute, an ed-tech social enterprise offering free tech courses to underserved populations in Kenya. The case was written by Smith School’s own Kislaya Prasad, professor and academic director of the Center for Global Business, in partnership with Tunapanda Institute leadership, and included real facts about the company as they seek strategic solutions to address their business challenges.
The case was introduced to students on Friday evening, allowing teams to begin casework throughout the night. With lots of coffee and a few hours of rest, teams made their way to the first round the following Saturday morning. Each team was granted 15 minutes to deliver their final presentations in front of a panel of five judges. Judges included senior executives, global business leaders, entrepreneurs, and academic advisors. Student schools remained anonymous throughout the competition and were revealed during the awarding of the prize presentation.
The four teams that advanced to the final round were: University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business; George Mason University School of Business; University of Washington, Foster School of Business; and George Washington School of Business.
The University of Notre Dame came in at first place, following by second place winners from the George Mason University School of Business.
Other teams that participated were: University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business; American University Kogod School of Business; George Mason University School of Business; George Washington University School of Business; University of Connecticut School of Business; and University of Illinois Gies School of Business.
In addition to the first and second prize awards, students also received awards for Best Presenter, Best Networking and Best PowerPoint Presentation.
This case competition is the precursor to the upcoming Eighth Annual Emerging Markets Forum which will take place on Friday, April 13, 2018. The Emerging Markets Forum will focus on Business Powering Africa Forward. For more information on the event, visit Emerging Markets Forum.
This event was funded in part by CIBER, a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
-Ja’Nel Edens, 2018 MBA Candidate, Robert H. Smith School of Business