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
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Business Analyst (Agile, SDLC, software)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Finance Manager - Bank - Leeds - £300/day

£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...

Compliance Officer - CF10, CF11, Compliance Oversight, AML, FX

£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn