It's business, but not as usual

Most promising MBA shows how entrepreneurs can serve the greater good

The Association of MBAs’ Gala Dinner, which took place on 19 October, is always a momentous date in the business school calendar. Not only did the event, which is supported by The Independent, provide a chance for institutions to come together, it also named this year’s most promising student while launching two new awards for innovation and entrepreneurial ventures.

This year’s winner, Alex Dalley, is the 14th recipient of the MBA Student of the Year award, which attracts entrants from business schools worldwide. The title aims to recognise “exceptional achievement in MBA students and the combination of an excellent academic record, an active community spirit, ambassadorial power and the use of the MBA to benefit the greater good”, explains Tina Vifor, marketing manager at the Association of MBAs.

Previous winners believe it has a value beyond bolstering their CV. “AMBA is leading the way in encouraging innovative notions of value creation – ways in which business and business skills can address society’s economic, social and environmental challenges, beyond a narrow preoccupation with the bottom line. I find that very inspiring,” says Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke, the 2009 winner who went on to found the successful Women’s Worldwide Web platform.

The four finalists for this year’s award have extremely diverse portfolios, highlighting the wide-ranging appeal of the competition and the diversity of those studying for the MBA qualification worldwide.

Dalley attended the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. He is seeking to create business opportunities by sourcing sustainably and ethically produced food from small farmers in developing economies and connecting those communities with global companies.He believes these farmers can help address consumer demand in Europe and North America.

Allen Manser is president of his MBA class at Saïd Business School and previously worked in West Africa for the Clinton Foundation. While at the school, he acted as portfolio manager for its venture fund, and is an associate fellow of the Skoll Centre.

Before taking up her MBA at Hult International Business School, Julie Brown’s career began in the White House. A senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, she took on the Hult Global Case Challenge during her studies, directing volunteers bringing water to underdeveloped regions.

Dr Thomas Maddox, from Judge Business School, specialises in the delicate balance between business and the environment. He has a special interest in Indonesia’s Sumatran tiger and has previously focused on developing innovative conservation finance to help preserve the species.

On the panel of industry judges deciding between the finalists were: Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick, CBE, global head of citizenship and diversity at KPMG; Chris Russell, chair of the Association of MBAs; and Gerry Gaffney, the MBA account manager at The Independent.

The two new awards introduced this year recognise very different aspects of the MBA, and were judged by a panel from the academic and commercial spheres.

The Entrepreneurial Venture award recognises students and alumni in recently founded businesses. They pitched their companies to a panel of entrepreneurs on the day of the Gala Dinner. The winners were Wolfgang Kalthoff and Jörg Wiemer of Germany’s Mannheim Business School.

The Innovation Award is aimed at business schools, and hopes to see them “promote their innovative and inspiring practices,” says Vifor. The finalists included the Lisbon MBA programme, and initiatives or courses from Insead and Nyenrode business schools. The winner was Waikato Management School’s MBA programme.

Many MBA students of the year have gone on to achieve great success in their fields, and organisers hope the same will be true for Dalley and the winners of the new categories. Nefesh-Clarke believes the awards play an vitalrole in promoting MBA education, and the creative ways it can drive innovation.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam