The First Wharton Business Plan Competition Social Impact Prize
PHILADELPHIA, PA., April 14, 2014— The Wharton School announced that the inaugural Wharton Business Plan Competition Social Impact Prize has been granted to Susli Lie WG’14, team leader of Dana Cita, a loan platform targeting Indonesian youth. The Wharton Business Plan Competition, which is managed by Wharton Entrepreneurship, initiated the $10,000 prize this year. This new prize is awarded to the Semifinalist team that most strongly demonstrates social impact in their business model. Wharton has strategically integrated the social impact prize into the regular business plan competition as it follows the school’s broad and unified approach to social impact that is demonstrated through the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.
Dana Cita means “Aspiration Fund” in Indonesian, and this education lending venture aims to empower Indonesian youths by providing loans to aspiring students, as well as connecting them to future careers. “Millions of youths in Indonesia, where I am from, aspire to a better future,” says Ms. Lie. “Through Dana Cita, we hope to make a difference and enhance the social mobility of many young people by funding these aspirations one at a time. It is a small step, but for a rapidly growing country that is as populous as Indonesia, we are hopeful it will be an impactful step.”
Ms. Lie is a Jakarta native and the first in her extended family to receive a graduate degree. Before pursuing a joint MBA/MA degree from The Wharton School and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, she worked as a consultant and Asia-Pacific Chief of Staff at Oliver Wyman Financial Services; her experience includes Indonesia-specific private equity and impact investing. Dana Cita is co-managed by impact investor Tom Schmittzehe, Wharton MBA’03, who is a Research Director for Responsible Investing at the Sustainomics Group, an international consulting firm. Together, their passion for providing opportunity to Indonesian youths and expertise in the region inspired them to build a market-based solution that addresses structural problems in the Indonesian education and labor markets.
The Wharton Social Impact Prize is funded by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative. “The prize rewards and supports ventures that truly integrate social impact and business savvy,” says Professor Katherine Klein, Edward H Bowman Professor of Management and Vice-Dean of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative. “This is why we partnered with Wharton Entrepreneurship to sponsor the Social Impact Prize in the Wharton Business Plan Competition. I look forward to seeing what Susli Lie and the winners in subsequent years go on to do.”
“Too often, people think that succeeding at business and making the world a better place are contradictory goals. They aren’t,” says Ian MacMillan, Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Director of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center and author of The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook. “The growing movement of social entrepreneurship is finding impactful ways to both turn a profit and accomplish tremendous good.”
The Wharton Social Impact Prize will be presented at the Wharton Business Plan Competition Venture Finals on May 1, 2014 when the Perlman Grand Prize winner will be announced. The event will be held at The Wharton School’s Jon M. Huntsman Hall, on the Penn campus and is free and open to the public. Register here to attend.
Judges for the Wharton Social Impact Prize are:
- Chris Balme C’03/W’03, Co-Founder, Spark
- Christopher Bentley, Principal, Sustain VC and Manager, Investors Circle – Philadelphia
- Ami Dalal C’99/W’99/WG’05, Social Financial Services, Ashoka
- Bob Hornsby WG’00, Managing Partner, JOBOMAX Global LTD
- Goldie Shturman, WG’09, Investment Officer, Inter-American Investment Corporation
About the Wharton School and Wharton Entrepreneurship
In 1973, The Wharton School became the first school to develop a fully integrated curriculum of entrepreneurial studies. Today Wharton, through Wharton Entrepreneurship (http://entrepreneurship.wharton.upenn.edu/), supports and seeds innovation and entrepreneurship globally through teaching, research and outreach to a range of organizations through its many programs, initiatives and research centers. At the same time, Wharton students and alumni are helping to build entrepreneurial enterprises around the world and impacting virtually every industry.
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 92,000 graduates. For more information on the Wharton Business Plan Competition, go to: http://bpc.wharton.upenn.edu.