Four Grants Awarded to Enterprise Based Solutions
to Poverty Researchers
Innovative research adds new dimension to international
Four Grants Awarded to Enterprise Based Solutions to Poverty Researchers Innovative
research adds new dimension to international development debate.
March 15, 2011 – CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS— The Social Equity Venture Fund
SEVEN today announced the winners of its annual RFP Competition, a one-year program
that invests in innovative research in the field of enterprise based solutions to poverty. Funded
projects include an MIT study evaluating factors influencing choices between wage labor and
entrepreneurship in developing countries ; production of a short documentary film highlighting
the significance of reconciliation in the development of enterprise solutions to poverty in Africa; a monograph and policy paper exploring the role of enterprise solutions to poverty in Afghanistan; and an academic study and manuscript development focused on the role of faith in creating a successful business.
The four winners, selected through a competitive peer review process that included leading business executives and development authorities, were chosen for their use of rigorous and innovative research approaches to tackle the questions and unlock the potential of enterprise-based solutions to poverty.
"The winners are inspired innovators who are breaking new ground that will help shape the dialogue around wealth creation," said Michael Fairbanks, co-founder of the SEVEN Fund, renowned development expert, and author of the Harvard Business Press book Plowing the Sea.
Antoinette Schoar is the Michael M. Koerner (49’) Professor of Entrepreneurial Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has been teaching at Sloan in the areas of corporate finance and entrepreneurship. Professor Schoar holds a PhD is in Economics from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree from the University of Cologne, Germany. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Finance and the American Economic Journal in Applied Economics.
Professor Schoar’s current research examines returns and capital flows in the venture capital industry, financing of SMEs and start up firms in emerging markets and the impact of corporate governance practices on firm performance. Her paper “The Effects of Corporate Diversification on Productivity” won the 2003 Journal of Finance Brattle Prize. She also received the prestigious Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship in 2009. She has published numerous papers in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economic, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and others. Her work has been featured in the Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Laura Waters Hinson is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of Image Bearer Pictures in Washington, DC. Her documentary As We Forgive about Rwanda’s reconciliation movement premiered in the U.S. on public television after winning the gold medal for best documentary at the 2008 Student Academy Awards. In 2009, Laura launched Living Bricks, a multi-media viewer action campaign to support reconciliation efforts in Rwanda. She was the recipient of a John Templeton Foundation grant to build the As We Forgive Rwanda Initiative, a Rwandan educational program aimed at harnessing the power of film to promote healing after genocide. Laura has a Master of Fine Arts degree in filmmaking from American University and an undergraduate degree in politics and communication from Furman University. She and her husband, Thomas Hinson, have a newborn son and live in Washington, DC.
Artist, filmmaker and writer Mariam Ghani has documented the economic and political reconstructions of Kabul from 2002-04, the UAE in the 00s, and post-crash New York in a series of innovative multimedia projects, including an interactive documentary of the Constitutional Loya Jirga of 2003-4. Her videos and installations have been exhibited and screened internationally, at venues including MoMA in New York, the Tate Modern in London, the National Gallery in DC, the Asia Society, the Sharjah, Liverpool and Beijing 798 Biennials, and numerous film festivals. Her public and participatory projects have been presented in Berlin, Amsterdam, Buffalo, Detroit, LA, NYC, and online. Ms. Ghani has been awarded NYFA and Soros Fellowships, grants from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Experimental Television Center, and residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Eyebeam Atelier, Smack Mellon, and the Akademie Schloss Solitude.
Since 2004, Ms. Ghani has collaborated with Chitra Ganesh as Index of the Disappeared, an archive of post-9/11 policies and platform for public dialogue around related issues and ideas. The Index has presented public projects, organized discussions, and installed various iterations of its archive in venues ranging from the UBS corporate headquarters to the Park Avenue Armory to museums, community centers, public libraries, storefront windows, and universities. The Index has published critical texts and print projects in the Sarai Reader, the Radical History Review, the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Samar, and Pavilion, and has been cited in a number of academic texts, courses and dissertations about the intersections of art, politics and archives. Ms. Ghani has also published critical texts in FUSE, Viralnet, artist anthologies and catalogues. She co-curated the exhibition Conversation Pieces, a survey of emerging public dialogue practices, for CEPA in fall 2009 and edited a 156-page reader of essays and projects by artists in the exhibition.
In addition to her critical and artistic practices, Ms. Ghani has edited policy papers for the Overseas Development Institute and the Institute for State Effectiveness, conducted on-site research for ISE in Nepal, and prepared papers for the Kabul Conference of July 2010. She has a B.A. in Comparative Literature from NYU and an MFA from SVA, and teaches in the Art & Public Policy graduate program at NYU.
Dr. Peter Heslam is Director of Transforming Business, a multi-disciplinary research and development project at the University of Cambridge that analyzes and catalyzes enterprise solutions to poverty. He works particularly closely with entrepreneurs, leaders of multinational corporations and business academics and educators around the world. Peter's academic background covers social science, history, theology and ethics and he holds degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. A prolific writer, speaker and researcher on the role of business in human development, he is the author of the bestselling short book Transforming Capitalism: Entrepreneurship and the Renewal of Thrift and is the recipient of a number of awards. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and serves as an adviser to Business Fights Poverty, Beyond Profit, and the Journal of Markets and Morality. He has also been a judge in SEVEN’s Pioneers of Prosperity competition.
Dr. Eric Wood has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Cape Town and an Economics PhD from Cambridge. He is Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Business, UCT and teaches in those fields at the GSB, and at business schools in the Netherlands and Namibia. He has a variety of international research collaborations and has published in the leading entrepreneurship journals. He acquired a majority stake in a loss-making business and managed a successful turn-around. He is a business angel and serves as a non-executive director in a young venture in the biotech industry. Eric consults to start-up and established businesses, focusing on practices which increase their potential to create value. Seeing organizations become more rewarding for all their stakeholders lights Eric’s fire.
Entrepreneurs create products, services and jobs. They expand economies, improve people's lives, provide employment (high and rising wages) and bring about competition. A competitive environment, in turn, gives rise to efficiency, meritocracy and further innovations and entrepreneurial drive.
The potent combination of entrepreneurship and technological innovation can forge an environment that is conducive to further enterprise, involving even government policy in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.