Green Entrepreneurship

This course will offer a step-by-step framework for transforming a green business idea into a viable business plan. It will provide the tools needed to generate, test, and refine an idea for a green business, together with successful examples of green entrepreneurs’ paths from business ideas to value-generating, market-fit solutions.
Course
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Start date: 2 November 2020
End date: 11 December 2020
Duration: 6 weeks
Estimated effort: 3 hours per week (requirements)
Languages: English
 Requirements: Internet connection

Contact course coordinator Course syllabus Meet the experts FAQs

 

Do you want to grasp new business opportunities in the field of productive, circular and sharing economies? Are you interested in addressing environmental challenges by selling a green product or service and creating green jobs in your country? Would you like to create and launch an innovative business model that creates environmental and social value?

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Convention on Biological Diversity, EcoEnterprises Fund, FaithInvest, Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, Lehigh University, Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production, SEED, and The GEF Small Grants Programme joined forces to offer you the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on Green Entrepreneurship.

Drawing on the training methodology developed by the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC) of the UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan, within the framework of the EU-funded SwitchMed project, the Handbook for Green Entrepreneurs “Create your Green Business”, this six-week course will guide you through your green entrepreneur journey, from defining your idea to the commercialisation of products and services.

Course highlights and outcomes

  • Gain the skills needed to turn environmental challenges into green business opportunities 
  • Interact with experts with a solid track record of creating and operating green businesses 
  • Join the community of green entrepreneurs 
  • Take a deep dive into rich learning materials
  • Receive a certificate of completion from premier development institutions

Learning objectives

By the time the course is completed, you will be able to:

  • Define your green business idea 
  • Understand your market and define your value proposition
  • Outline all the tasks and resources needed to generate, innovate, and manage the value delivered to customers
  • Create a financial and management plan for your business
  • Deliver an ‘elevator’ pitch to potential investors and customers

Course topics

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Week 1: Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship and Sketching Out Your Green Business Idea
  • Week 2: Making a Positive Impact with your Green Business Idea
  • Week 3: Identifying your Customers and Stakeholders
  • Week 4: Putting your Green Business Model into Context
  • Week 5: Financing your Green Business Idea
  • Week 6: Managing, Scaling Up and Communicating your Green Business Idea

Course completion requirements

To receive the certificate of course completion, participants must complete:

  • Six online lessons
  • Six weekly quizzes
  • The final test
  • The course survey

Click Enroll to register today.

 Direct Enterprise Support Openings

  Category: Training Programme
  Dates: Application deadlines: 30 October 2020 - South Africa, 6 November 2020 - Indonesia, 9 November 2020 - India.
  Cost: Free, but application process required.

SEED, a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy, is offering training opportunities for kickstarting entrepreneurship journeys and incubating fresh ideas for ec0-inclusive enterprises. Participants from India, Indonesia, and South Africa are eligible to apply.


The VERGE 20

  Category: Virtual Event and Networking
  Dates: 26-30 October
  Cost: Free access to all keynote sessions, virtual tours, and the virtual expo.

The VERGE 20 online event is the leading platform for accelerating the clean economy. On October 26-30, more than 10,000 leaders — from the private and public sectors, utilities, solution providers, investors, and startups — will come together to talk about advancing systemic solutions to address the climate crisis through five key markets: clean energy, electrified transportation, the circular economy, carbon removal and sustainable food systems.


Community Conversations for Advancing Equity in Entrepreneurship Education

  Category: Training Programme
  Dates: 28 October for the first conversation, further conversations TBC.
  Cost: Free

VentureWell will host a series of community conversations around the six areas for action presented in their report, Advancing Equity: Dynamic Strategies for Authentic Engagement in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In each conversation, they will discuss ways to address inequities in STEM innovation and entrepreneurship education. The first community conversation will take place on 28 October. It will discuss strategies and solutions for addressing barriers in conducting authentic outreach to early-stage innovators and engaging faculty as mentors.


Impact.Engineered 2020

  Category: Virtual Event and Networking
  Dates: 3-4 December 2020
  Cost: Free

Impact.Engineered is a free virtual event and networking experience that will take place on 3-4 December 2020. It will include inspirational keynotes, mindful conversations, celebration and networking to advance the role of engineering and technology in sustainable development. The event will allow you to connect with the global community of engineering experts, social innovators and pragmatic optimists to strategize, get inspired, and celebrate cutting edge work solving humankind’s biggest challenges and building a better future.


VentureWell Annual Conference

  Category: Virtual Event and Networking
  Dates: 17-19 March 2021
  Cost: Free

VentureWell, a non-profit organization cultivating a pipeline of inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs, will gather representatives from across the innovation and entrepreneurship spectrum to share stories, start new collaborations, and learn emerging best practices in the field of science and technology entrepreneurship education at its annual open conference. The conference will offer space for meaningful conversations and deep connections between attendees.


Finance for Nature Virtual Global Series

  Category: Virtual Event
  Dates: N/A, recorded
  Cost: Free

The Finance for Nature Virtual Global Series brought together industry champions from finance, insurance, consumer goods companies and standard-setting regulators to drive practical commitments on investing in nature. Session recordings are available on Learning for Nature.


NextBillion Open Forum

  Category: Information
  Dates: N/A, ongoing
  Cost: Free

NextBillion is an open forum for the development through enterprise sector. The site is a community of business leaders, social entrepreneurs, NGO managers, policy makers, academics and others exploring the connection between development and for-profit business. It offers guest-written content from entrepreneurs, researchers and others working on the ground in emerging markets, along with regular interviews with the thought-leaders who are shaping the sector. NextBillion also offers an editor-curated news feed, a calendar of important events, and a jobs board with continuously updated employment opportunities across the development through enterprise sector.


GreenBiz Webcasts

  Category: Information
  Dates: Next upcoming webcast on 10 November 2020. Past webcast recordings available.
  Cost: Free access to all keynote sessions, virtual tours, and the virtual expo.

GreenBiz webcasts highlight the latest sustainability strategies, policies, technologies and trends. You can learn from industry experts and your peers about how to implement the most effective sustainability measures within your organization. You can register for upcoming webcasts and access archived events.

Course Coordinator

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Course Includes

  • 2 Modules
  • 12 Activities
  • 1 Quiz
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Muhammad

Hi everyone, greetings from Indonesia. Glad to join this free MOOC.

Renata Gomes

Hey, greetings from Brazil…Excited for this!

Ulises Montaño Pellegaud

Hey! How’s it going?

I’m Ulises from Mexico! Looking forward to share ideas with you guys. I’m very excited about this e.learning course.

Emmanuel Isabirye

Joining in again from Uganda . Always a pleasure being here

Ramya Sukeerth

Hi all, Greetings from Germany. Looking forward eagerly to this sustainable interactive course learning on green business.

Nar Bahadur Khatiwora

Hi everyone, this is Nar from Bhutan. Looking forward for an interactive course learning, discussion and lets collectively broaden our networks for a common cause – fight against climate crises.

Zeritu Mola

Hello, I am Zeritu from Ethiopia and looking forward to attend this course.

Idris Umar Zungum

Hello, I am a student and a teacher in the feel of Ecology and Environmental Biology. I look forward to participating in this interesting course.

Veira Pulekera

Hello, my name is Veira Pulekera. I work as Principal Conservation Officer at the Ministry of Environment in Solomon Islands. Having learnt a lot happening on our land and marine environment. one of the greatest challenge is to be creative and innovative in thinking green business that will be eco-friendly. I certainly agree that this course will offer practical business ideas, from planning to executing the green ideas. Hope to learn from Green Entrepreneurship course.

Win Phyo

Hi everyone, my name is Win- I work as a Landscape Architect but I am what I would call “multipotentialite” (term from a TED Talk!) with various interests, particularly in health and well-being, storytelling/ writing, deep work and personal growth. I’m here to entertain my idea of starting my own business one day or starting something that creates an impact. I’m excited and also nervous to see where this will take me as it is out of my comfort zone. I look forward to connecting with you all!

Course Syllabus

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6

Week 1

Week 1 provides an introduction to green entrepreneurship and sets the background for sketching up your green business idea.

REQUIRED: Lesson and Quiz

Lesson 1: Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship

Objectives:

  • Define green entrepreneurship
  • Describe the differences between green economy, circular economy, and the “business as usual” economy
  • Define social entrepreneurship and understand how it differs from other forms of entrepreneurship
  • Describe the existing trends that affect green entrepreneurship
  • Introduce the concept of “eco-design”
  • Identify the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur

Quiz 1: Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship

Quiz 1 checks your comprehension of the material covered in Lesson 1.

REQUIRED: Lectures

  • Oksana Aguilar, EcoEnterprises Fund: What it means to be a green entrepreneur
  • Anke Manuela Salzmann, Boticario Group Foundation: Introduction to eco-design
  • Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University: What is takes to build a sustainable green venture: A case study
  • Sara Farley, Rochefeller Foundation: Systems leadership
  • Iana Aranda, Engineering for Global Development: The role of technology for advancing sustainable development, and what this means for green entrepreneurs

RECOMMENDED: Worksheets

  • SDGs and green entrepreneurship
  • Eco-design

RECOMMENDED: Case studies

  • Tambul Leaf Plates: Creating youth employment in Assam while reducing plastic waste (India)
  • Asociación de Productores Kemito Ene: Improving livelihood and protesting the forest through organic cacao production (Peru)
  • Sahelia Solar: Increasing clean and affordable energy access in rural areas (Burkina Faso)
  • Safi Organics: Empowering smallholder farmers through an agricultural circular economy (Kenya)
  • Food & Trees for Africa: Transforming South Africa into a green and food secure country (South Africa)
  • Raja Ampat: Reducing pressures on ecosystems by connecting tourists with family-run homestays (Indonesia)
  • Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils Pty Ltd: Embracing sustainable harvesting for sandalwood oil production (Australia)

RECOMMENDED: Group workspaces

  • Sustainable resource management
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Ecotourism
  • Sustainable energy
  • Eco-agriculture and food systems
  • Eco-friendly products

OPTIONAL: Discussion forum

  1. This week we talked about the global trends and underlying drivers that make green entrepreneurship important today more than ever. What is the state of green entrepreneurship in your context?
  2. Lesson 1 talked about the connection between Sustainable Development Goals and green entrepreneurship. Which SDGs would your green business idea address? Fill out and attach the “SDGs and Green Entrepreneurship” worksheet to your answer.
  3. You have learnt about the idea of eco-designing your product or service. How do you plan to apply the eight eco-design principles in your green business? Fill out and attach the “Eco-design” worksheet to your answer.

Week 2 focuses on making a positive impact with your green business idea.

REQUIRED: Lesson and Quiz

Lesson 2: Making a Positive Impact with your Green Business Idea

Objectives:

  • Identify the reasons that drive green entrepreneurship projects
  • Analyze the context
  • Describe ways to turn challenges into opportunities
  • Define the mission and vision for a green business

Quiz 2: Making a Positive Impact with your Green Business Idea

Quiz 2 checks your comprehension of the material covered in Lesson 2.

REQUIRED: Lectures

  • Bill Whitney, Lehigh University: How to ask the right questions when getting started with your green business
  • Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University: Opportunity recognition and validation
  • Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University: Why ventures fail
  • Anna Schaeffer, EcoEnterprises Fund: Understanding your context: PESTEL and SWOT
  • Esther Adhiambo Obonyo, The Global Building Network: Defining the mission and vision for your business

RECOMMENDED: Worksheets

  • Asking the right questions
  • Opportunity recognition
  • Opportunity validation
  • PESTEL
  • SWOT
  • Objectives
  • Mission and vision
  • Summary of context and objectives

RECOMMENDED: Case studies

  • Rural Enterprise Network (Sri Lanka)
  • Muliru Farmers: Cultivating traditional medicinal plants to protect the last Kenyan rainforest (Kenya)
  • All Women Recycling: Empowering women in South Africa through plastic recycling (South Africa)
  • WASHKing: Upgrading sanitation in low-income urban households (Ghana)
  • Zan Va Zamin (Tajikistan)
  • Trees for Global Benefit (Uganda)
  • Oro Verde: Combatting Environmental Degradation (Colombia)

RECOMMENDED: Group workspaces

  • Sustainable resource management
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Ecotourism
  • Sustainable energy
  • Eco-agriculture and food systems
  • Eco-friendly products

OPTIONAL: Discussion forum

  1. What are the primary reasons that drive your project?
  2. What are the environmental challenges in your context that you can turn into an opportunity? Fill out and attach the “Opportunity recognition” worksheet to your answer.
  3. What is your business’s mission? What problem does it seek to solve? Fill out and attach the “Mission and vision” template to your answer.
  4. What are the key external and internal factors you should take into account in order to achieve success in your project? Fill out and attach the “PESTEL” and/or “SWOT” template to your answer.

Week 3 focuses on identifying your customers and stakeholders.

REQUIRED: Lesson and Quiz

Lesson 3: Identifying your Customers and Stakeholders 

Objectives:

  • Map out relevant stakeholders for a green business
  • Segment a customer base into groups
  • Start building customer profiles

Quiz 3: Identifying your Customers and Stakeholders 

Quiz 3 checks your comprehension of the material covered in Lesson 3.

REQUIRED: Lectures

  • Chris Kauzmann, Lehigh University: Green business canvas
  • Julia Santander, EcoEnterprises Fund: Stakeholder mapping
  • Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University: Customer profiling

RECOMMENDED: Worksheets

  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Assessing “the give and get”
  • Customer segmentation and profiling

RECOMMENDED: Case studies

  • Dichung: Ride-sharing technology to reduce traffic congestion and CO2 emissions (Viet Nam)
  • IMAI Farming Cooperative: Preserving vegetables to build selfreliance among South African farmers (South Africa)
  • BanaPads: Empowering thousands of girls and women in rural Uganda by providing sanitary pads from natural fibres (Uganda)
  • Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (Cameroon)
  • Yayasan Planet Indonesia (Indonesia)
  • SolSource: Harnessing Environmentally-Beneficial Technologies for Rural Villagers (China)

RECOMMENDED: Group workspaces

  • Sustainable resource management
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Ecotourism
  • Sustainable energy
  • Eco-agriculture and food systems
  • Eco-friendly products

OPTIONAL: Discussion forum

  1. Who are the stakeholders important for your green business idea and why? Fill out and attach the “Stakeholder mapping” worksheet to your answer.
  2. What does a ‘typical’ customer look like for your green business idea? Fill out and attach the “Customer segmentation and profiling” worksheet to your answer.

Week 4 focuses on putting your green business model into context.

REQUIRED: Lesson and Quiz

Lesson 4: Putting your Green Business Model into Context

Objectives:

  • Define and communicate a unique value proposition 
  • Explain the foundations of lifecycle analysis
  • Establish a relationship with stakeholders and customers

Quiz 4: Putting your Green Business Model into Context

Quiz 4 checks your comprehension of the material covered in Lesson 4.

REQUIRED: Lectures

  • Nathalie Prado, EcoEnterprises Fund: Creating a unique value proposition
  • Rachel Dzombak, UC Berkley: Lifecycle analysis
  • Pali Singh, Villanova University: Establishing a relationship with stakeholders and customers
  • Lorena Luna: Harnessing the power of communities to strengthen your green business

RECOMMENDED: Worksheets

  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Assessing “the give and get”
  • Customer segmentation and profiling

RECOMMENDED: Case studies

  • Solar Freeze, Kenya
  • Provokame: Empowering vulnerable women and combating climate change (Colombia)
  • Belle Verte: Creating sustainable communities in Mauritius through a closed-loop waste management system (Mauritius)
  • Botanica Natural Products (South Africa)
  • Unique Quality Product Enterprise: Empowering marginalised women in Ghana through reviving the cultivation of indigenous crops (Ghana)
  • Green Heat (Uganda)

RECOMMENDED: Group workspaces

  • Sustainable resource management
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Ecotourism
  • Sustainable energy
  • Eco-agriculture and food systems
  • Eco-friendly products

OPTIONAL: Discussion forum

  1. What makes your business different from other businesses?
  2. What are some of the best ways to engage with your potential customers? Fill out and attach the “Customer journey map” template to your answer.
  3. What are some of the lifecycle considerations for your business? Fill out the attach the ‘Lifecycle analysis” template to your answer.
  4. Which of the key activities that you need to do in order to offer your value proposition do you anticipate to be most challenging and why? Fill out and attach the “Key activities and resources” template to your answer.

Week 5 focuses on financing your green business idea.

REQUIRED: Lesson and Quiz

Lesson 5: Financing your Green Business Idea

Objectives:

  • Identify the cost structure for a green business
  • Outline revenue streams and pricing mechanisms 
  • Describe the basics of main financial statements
  • Provide an overview of possible funding sources

Quiz 5: Financing your Green Business Idea

Quiz 5 checks your comprehension of the material covered in Lesson 5.

REQUIRED: Lectures

  • Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University: Income Statement
  • Mirko Zurker, SEED: Cash flow
  • Masud Rahman, UNHCR: Balance sheet
  • Masud Rahman, UNHCR: Bringing income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet together
  • Mirko Zurker, SEED: Value chain
  • Julia Santander, EcoEnterprises Fund: Cost, forecasting and liquidity management
  • Masud Rahman, UNHCR: Choosing funding sources

RECOMMENDED: Worksheets

  • Income statement
  • Cash flow statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Cost structure
  • Revenue streams

RECOMMENDED: Case studies

  • EcoPost: Preventing deforestation, combatting pollution and creating youth employment by transforming waste into plastic posts (Kenya)
  • Claire Reid Reel Gardening: Alleviating food shortage through sustainable subsistence gardening (South Africa)
  • YICE Uganda: Improving access to training, funding and markets for rural farmers (Uganda)
  • Associação Indígena Kisêdjê (Brazil)
  • Mujeres y Ambiente (Mexico)

RECOMMENDED: Group workspaces

  • Sustainable resource management
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Ecotourism
  • Sustainable energy
  • Eco-agriculture and food systems
  • Eco-friendly products

OPTIONAL: Discussion forum

  1. What factors might affect the cost and price of your product or service? Fill out and attach the “Cost structure” template to your answer.
  2. What are some of the uncertainties and variables you might encounter in assessing costs and setting prices? How could you address these?
  3. Do you need external finance for your green business? If so, what kind of finance makes sense for you, and why?
  4. What are some ways you might be able to reduce costs for your business?

Week 6 focuses on managing, scaling up and communicating your green business idea.

REQUIRED: Lesson and Quiz

Lesson 6: Managing, Scaling up and Communicating your Green Business Idea

Objectives:

  • Outline the steps involved in developing a legal management plan 
  • Outline the steps involved in developing an operations and management plan
  • Describe the characteristics of an effective elevator pitch
  • Describe what is needed for improving and scaling up a green business idea 

Quiz 6: Managing, Scaling up and Communicating your Green Business Idea

Quiz 6 checks your comprehension of the material covered in Lesson 6.

REQUIRED: Lectures

  • Oksana Aguilar, EcoEnterprises Fund: Developing a legal management plan
  • Masud Rahman, UNHCR: Developing an operations and management plan
  • John McKenna, EcoEnterprises Fund: Elevator pitches
  • Tammy Newmark, EcoEnterprises Fund: Scaling up your green business
  • Hong Durandal, EDP Renewables: Areas and steps for continuous improvement of your green business
  • Yesika Aguilera, Tespack: Bringing together all the aspects of your green business development

RECOMMENDED: Worksheets

  • Legal management plan
  • Operations and management plan
  • Elevator pitch

RECOMMENDED: Case studies

  • Watamu Community Solid Waste Management and Recycling Enterprises (WSWMR): Fighting unemployment and coastal degradation through waste recycling in Watamu (Kenya)
  • GreenABLE (South Africa)
  • Green Bio Energy (Uganda)
  • Aharam Traditional Crops Producers’ Company (India)
  • Environmental Management and Development Trust (Nigeria)

RECOMMENDED: Group workspaces

  • Sustainable resource management
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Ecotourism
  • Sustainable energy
  • Eco-agriculture and food systems
  • Eco-friendly products

OPTIONAL: Discussion forum

  1. What forces do you envision shaping your business within the next few years?
  2. What are the key elements that might go into an elevator pitch for your business?
  3. What is the single most important message of your pitch? Record your elevator pitch on your phone or any other device available to you, and attach the recording to your answer.
  4. What are some innovative ways to communicate your green business idea in your context?

Expert guest lecturersExpert facilitators

Oksana Aguilar is the Managing Director of Compliance and Operations at EcoEnterprises Fund. With over seventeen years’ experience, Oksana Aguilar has served in various financial management functions. For five years, she served as Investment Monitoring Officer for Fondo EcoEmpresas, S.A., EcoEnterprises Fund’s first fund under management and rejoined the team in 2012 to serve as Financial Controller for EcoEnterprises Partners II, LP. Prior to this present position, she was Finance and Administration Director for World Wildlife Fund’s Central America Program Office in Costa Rica. She also held the position of Finance Specialist at The Nature Conservancy and worked in the comptroller’s office in IUCN’s Mesoamerican Office. Oksana holds an MBA with an emphasis in banking and finance from the University of Costa Rica.

 


Yesika Aguilera is a tech entrepreneur and marketing wizard. At the age of 24, she co-founded Tespack – a smart technology company that focuses on mobile energy solutions, currently used by the United Nations and various governmental entities. Her company has won more than 30+ International Awards (including Best Energy Startup, awarded by the European Union), and has raised a seed round of €2.5 million. Due to her contributions in the tech and education industry, Yesika has been recognized as a disruptor twice by Forbes 30 Under 30. She has been a board mentor to the Queen’s Young Leaders program led by her majesty the Queen of England, which supports the leading social entrepreneurs and NGOs all across the 53 commonwealth countries. Yesika specialises in marketing, personal development and technology, helping many entrepreneurs at the biggest accelerator programmes and universities all across the world to reach their full potential.

 


Iana Aranda is the Director of the Engineering Global Development Department at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) where she sets the business strategy of a portfolio of programs and platforms that advance knowledge, workforce readiness and hardware-led social innovation to improve the quality of life of underserved communities. Iana also serves as the President of Engineering for Change, LLC (E4C) – a knowledge organization and global community of over 1 million individuals dedicated to design and delivery of essential technologies advancing sustainable development. In both roles, Iana is driving an agenda for a multidisciplinary and human-centered approach to global development enabled by engineering, technology, and cross-sector partnerships. Iana has over 15 years of experience in academic, research and non-profit sectors focusing on the intersection of engineering design, business strategy and social impact.

 


Hong Durandal is a renewable energy developer and entrepreneur with experience in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. He has led engagement with national governments and international banks for the investment of more than $500 million USD that resulted in the development and implementation of several solar and wind farms. Hong has worked with different start-ups, taking them from ideas to operational businesses. He currently leads Energy Hunters and the EVPump Network in their growth and expansion efforts. Hong holds a Finance degree from Berea College and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. He is passionate about advancing sustainable development on a community level.

 


Rachel Dzombak (PhD) is on the Faculty at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business where she teaches sustainable design, teaming, innovation, and system thinking. She additionally runs an independent design consultancy, supporting organizations from government and the private sector to frame and solve complex problems. Previously, Rachel was the co-founder of a social enterprise that delivered preventative healthcare services in rural Kenya. She holds a PhD and MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS in Biomedical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. For more information, visit: www.racheldzombak.com.

 


Sara Farley leads the global portfolio and spearheads integrated operations for The Rockefeller Foundation’s food team, leading such signature initiatives as the Food Systems Vision Prize. Previously, she co-founded the Global Knowledge Initiative, which she led for a decade, nurturing it from a concept to an organization designated as one of the “Top 100 Social Innovations for the next century.” Prior to founding GKI, Sara spent a decade as an innovation strategist for the World Bank. She has been commissioned by national governments, and international development organizations (AFDB, UNIDO, etc.) to lead thinking, develop and facilitate networks, and devise policies to strengthen developing countries’ science and innovation capacity. Equal parts facilitator, systems thinker, collaboration-maker, and strategist, Sara graduated with honors from Stanford University’s School of Engineering where she also earned a Masters before post-graduate study at the Universidad de Buenos Aires on a Rotary International Ambassadorial Fellowship.

 


Chris Kauzmann teaches entrepreneurship and design thinking at Lehigh University. He finds particular joy when able to directly support passionate students along their entrepreneurial journey in and out of the classroom. Outside of work Chris is an outdoor enthusiast and obsessive maker. Chris graduated from Lehigh University in 2013 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and Entrepreneurship Minor, followed by a Master’s of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship in 2014.

 


Lorena Luna is a consultant with over 10 years of experience in building and strengthening international social businesses. Her expertise as a business developer and community project manager includes the issues of women’s empowerment, social innovation, and sustainable seafood. Lorena has worked with interdisciplinary teams in the United States, Mexico, France, and Latin America. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Communications from Berea College. Lorena is passionate about community building and loves exploring the outdoors.

 


John McKenna is the Managing Director of Investments at EcoEnterprises Fund. He brings nearly twenty years of experience in both private equity and the technology industry, the majority focused on the emerging markets of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He has worked for EcoEnterprises Fund since 2014. John’s functional expertise includes business development, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, and turn-around management. He worked as an executive in the Private Equity group of Fidelity Investments, covering a wide range of industries. John holds an MBA from the University of South Carolina.

 


Khanjan Mehta is the inaugural Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry and Director of the Mountaintop Initiative at Lehigh University. Mehta champions the creation of learning environments and ecosystems where students, faculty, and external partners come together to increase their capacities for independent inquiry, take intellectual risks and learn from failure, recognize problems and opportunities and effect constructive and sustainable change. In a previous avatar, Mehta was the Founding Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program at Penn State. Mehta serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and Contributing Editor for the Engineering 4 Change portal. His latest book, Solving Problems that Matter (and Getting Paid for It), takes a deep dive into STEM careers in social innovation and global sustainable development.

 


Tammy Newmark is the CEO and Managing Partner of EcoEnterprises Fund. A leader in impact investing, Tammy has over thirty years of experience in the field. She has led EcoEnterprises Fund from its launch under The Nature Conservancy in 1998 to spinning off a co-owned investment manager in 2010. Prior to The Nature Conservancy, Tammy directed Technoserve, Inc.’s environmental business advisory services in Latin America and Africa. She was also a founding officer of Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund, the first venture fund that specialized in renewable energy, clean technology, and green investments in emerging markets. She established investment groups: Yayasan Bina Usaha Lingkungan and Preferred Energy Investments in Indonesia and the Philippines, respectively. Tammy has also worked for the International Finance Corporation and JPMorgan Chase. She is a co-author of Portfolio for the Planet: Lessons from 10 years of impact investing, (Earthscan/Routledge Press, 2011). Tammy holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 


Esther Adhiambo Obonyo (PhD) is the Director of the Global Building Network, a partnership between the UNECE and Penn State. She is also an Associate Professor of Engineering Design and Architectural Engineering. She served as the Interim Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program in 2016 and was also Penn State’s Inaugural Global Faculty Fellow. Dr. Obonyo was a 2015/ 2016 Jefferson Science Fellow placed with the USAID Global Development Lab in DC. Between August 2004 and July 2015, she was a faculty member at the University of Florida. Dr. Obonyo has extensive industry experience, having worked as a Construction Engineer, Project Manager, and Innovations Analyst in several engineering and construction companies in Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States. Her work has been disseminated through over 100 journal papers, conference proceedings, and presentations.

 


Nathalie Prado is the Managing Director of Investments at EcoEnterprises Fund. She has been on EcoEnterprises Fund’s investment team for twelve years, beginning with a monitoring, impact management, and workout role. She rejoined EcoEnterprises Fund in 2012 after several years at Root Capital, where she was a loan officer for Central America, leading investment activities in Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Haiti. She holds an MBA in Sustainable Business from Universidad para la Cooperacion International in Costa Rica.

 


Masud Rahman is an economist at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Bangladesh. Prior to this role, Masud worked with UNDP’s Global Programme on Nature for Development, where we focused on impact investing initiatives. Masud was a Fulbright fellow at Fordham University in New York where he received a dual M.A. in Economics and International Political Economy and Development. Masud has been working in development projects and humanitarian responses in Africa and Asia for over seven years. His current interests revolve around generating experimental evidence for policymakers in forcibly displaced situations.

 


Anke Manuela Salzmann works for Boticario Group Foundation in Brazil, and has been professionally involved in biodiversity conservation since 2012. Her experience lies in integrating business and biodiversity conservation through different strategies: multi-stakeholder initiatives for water conservation, entrepreneurship with a socio-environmental impact, and certification for businesses that undertake biodiversity conservation actions.

Anke holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Forest Engineering from the Federal University of Parana (Brazil), a Master’s Degree in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge, (UK), a double MSc. Degree in Agriculture and Forestry from the University of Eastern Finland and Forest Ecology and Management from the University of Freiburg (Germany).

 


Julie Santander is the Managing Director of Investments at EcoEnterprises Fund. She has twelve years of experience in investments, mergers and acquisitions, risk analyses, and sustainability. Prior to joining EcoEnterprises Fund in 2015, she worked as a project leader for the Boston Consulting Group in Europe, the USA, and Asia, facilitating decision-making and supporting corporate clients during due diligence to post-merger integration. She also worked on social impact assignments with corporates, NGOs, and foundations. She holds an MA in International relations, economics, and business administration from the University of Passau in Germany with a specialization on Latin America economies.

 


Anna Schaeffer is an Investment Officer at EcoEnterprises Fund. She brings investment analysis, portfolio monitoring, and market research experience to the team. Prior to joining EcoEnterprises Fund, she worked in Nicaragua as a loan analyst and Latin America Regional Representative for a microfinance fund. In this capacity, she performed in-country due diligence visits, and trained country representatives for microfinance institutions. Anna holds a BA in Business from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

 


Pali Singh (PhD) is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Villanova University. He received his BSc in Physics from the University of Birmingham in England in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Applied Science/Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 1984.

Dr. Singh has been working in solar energy research for over 40 years, working right from the cell level to the systems level. He teaches postgraduate courses in power electronics renewable energy systems, sustainable product development for low resource settings and information, communication and energy technologies for development (ICET4D). He ran his own solar business in India for five years and has consulted for the US Department of Energy and two private companies on solar electric systems. He has worked with UNICEF in Nicaragua, Burundi and Zimbabwe giving workshops on renewable energy and entrepreneurship. He has recently worked on humanitarian projects in Ecuador in renewable energy and connectivity with colleagues from the Escuela Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL) in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Dr. Singh served as the IEEE Special Interest Group for Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) Education Subcommittee Chair from 2017 – 2019 and is currently Chair of the Assessment Training Ad-hoc Subcommittee of IEEE SIGHT. He is also the Technical Chair for the 2020 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference.

 


Bill Whitney is Administrative Director for the Office of the Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry at Lehigh University. He is also an adjunct professor of theatre at Lehigh and other area colleges and universities. Prior to his current role, Bill spent six years as Executive Assistant to the President at Lehigh. Bill holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.A. in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis, and B.A. degrees in English and Theatre Arts from Nebraska Wesleyan University. His past research and scholarship has revolved around questions of reception and production in contemporary experimental theatre of the U.S. and the phenomenon of fringe theatre festivals. Currently, his interests circulate around higher education administration and culture, the role of arts and humanities in higher education, and the changing nature of academic research. 

 


Mirko Zurker is Head of SEED Asia at SEED. Mirko has supported SEED since 2009. He developed and enhanced SEED’s global incubator and accelerator programme, positioning its awards and support scheme as the leading scheme in the field of eco-inclusive enterprise development. He helped to connect SEED with donors, investors, foundations and intermediaries, making SEED a key player in the space. As lead of its Deal Ready Programme, Mirko created matches between financers and multiple enterprises. With the creation of the SEED BDS+ Programme, Mirko built a training mechanism to enhance the quality of business development service providers across Africa. At SEED, Mirko coined the term “toolification” as he developed several business incubation and acceleration toolkits focusing on such topics as eco-inclusive innovation, business modelling, organisational development, market research, and lean-start-up.


Chris Kauzmann teaches entrepreneurship and design thinking at Lehigh University. He finds particular joy when able to directly support passionate students along their entrepreneurial journey in and out of the classroom. Outside of work, Chris is an outdoor enthusiast and obsessive maker. Chris graduated from Lehigh University in 2013 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and Entrepreneurship Minor, followed by a Master of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship in 2014.

 


Esther Adhiambo Obonyo (PhD) is the Director of the Global Building Network, a partnership between the UNECE and Penn State. She is also an Associate Professor of Engineering Design and Architectural Engineering. She served as the Interim Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program in 2016 and was also Penn State’s Inaugural Global Faculty Fellow. Dr. Obonyo was a 2015/ 2016 Jefferson Science Fellow placed with the USAID Global Development Lab in DC. Between August 2004 and July 2015, she was a faculty member at the University of Florida. Dr. Obonyo has extensive industry experience, having worked as a Construction Engineer, Project Manager, and Innovations Analyst in several engineering and construction companies in Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States. Her work has been disseminated through over 100 journal papers, conference proceedings, and presentations.

 


Nathaniel Alter is passionate about promoting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, he represented Lehigh University’s P.C. Rossin College of Engineering at the Global Grand Challenges Summit in London focused on ways to achieve the SDGs. Nathaniel has been engaged in a range of projects related to sustainable development, including fieldwork surrounding the socioeconomic factors underlying Ebola infection in Sierra Leone, which he conducted as a Global Social Impact Fellow at Lehigh University. At Lehigh, where he is currently pursuing his degree, Nathaniel is studying Industrial and Systems Engineering. He also serves as a United Nations Youth Representative for the Centre of Public Health, in Abuja, Nigeria.

 


Ugochi Amadi is passionate about contributing to solutions to global issues and achieving systemic change, with a special focus on empowering marginalized communities. At Lehigh University, where she is currently pursuing her degree, she is studying Civil Engineering, Global Studies, and Global Population Health.

 


Brianna Cimaglia is passionate about working with local communities on sustainable development solutions. Her research experience includes the study of coconut value-adding processes in the Philippines that aims to help small-scale farmers increase their profits. At Lehigh University, where Brianna is currently pursuing her degree, she is studying international relations and economics. As an associate news editor and data analyst for Lehigh University’s newspaper, The Brown and White, Brianna uses data to analyze newspaper performance on various social media sites.

 


Robert Corvalan-Perez is passionate about bringing about change through community service. Community service inspired Robert’s interest in the impact of the determinants of health, such as one’s socioeconomic status and nutrition, on children’s well-being and school performance. This interest led him to a research fellowship for a childhood malnutrition venture in Sierra Leone, which focused on the use of locally sourced, nutritious produce to create and distribute healthy, affordable food products. At Lehigh University, where Robest is currently pursuing his degree, he is studying International Relations and Public Health.

 


Ellie Falk is a sustainability engineering professional focusing on mechanical engineering and environmental science. At Lehigh University, where she is currently pursuing her degree, she was a founding member of PlasTech Ventures, a group focusing on upcycling post-consumer plastic in the Philippines. Through this work, Ellie contributed to two papers published in the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference. Ellie’s next career step is working with PPL Electric Utilities.

 


Andy Fugh is interested in local solutions to sustainable development challenges. For the past two years, Andy has been researching community-scale approaches to plastic recycling in the Philippines, as well as studied the plastic recycling ecosystem in the field in Manila. He is an author of two papers concerning plastic recycling entrepreneurship, published in the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference. Currently, Andy is part of the research team that is developing recycling machinery to be implemented in Manila, where his team plans to pilot a small-scale
facility.

 


Naakesh Gomanie is a candidate for a joint MSc in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing at both the London School of Economics and Political Science and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has leveraged project management skills and hands-on experience to implement new healthcare technologies in low- and middle-income countries. Naakesh was the Operations Specialist and Team Leader for “Ukweli Test Strips.” He managed the implementation of a $0.02 point-of-care screening device for Urinary Tract Infections and Preeclampsia, reaching a catchment population of over 1.0 million people in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone.

 


Maria Lancia is passionate about social impact, and is currently pursuing a degree in bio-pharmaceutical engineering at Lehigh University. Maria helped develop a lateral flow device to diagnose sickle cell disease. In 2019, she traveled to Sierra Leone to form partnerships for the future implementation of the device and plans to return in 2021 to lead a small clinical trial. Most recently, Maria worked for the social enterprise Naireeta Services – Bhungroo in Ahmedabad, India, where she analyzed the environmental and socio-economic impact of Bhungroo, a water saving technology which enables farming year-round.

 


Laura Marsiglio is passionate about advancing sustainable development locally and globally. At Lehigh University, where she is currently pursuing her degree, she is studying Materials Science and Engineering, Economics, and Environmental Studies as part of the IDEAS honors program. As a Global Social Impact Fellow, Laura is currently working to address the plastic waste crisis in the Philippines. The venture aims to enable the production of higher-value goods by establishing a series of community-scale recycling facilities. Her other projects included the Lehigh University Partnership for Sustainable UN Missions, where she contributed to a project aiming to implement sustainable practices in the New York City offices of several UN Missions and help them align their daily operations with the Sustainable Development goals.

 


Andreea Alexandra Mitrofan is an International Business and Economics graduate, with an interest in circular economy and sustainability. She has developed her interest in green entrepreneurship and sustainability as an Erasmus+ Exchange student, due to meeting people from different cultures, and while completing several Massive Open Online Courses. Her experience in volunteering and individual learning motives her to further contribute towards global sustainable development.

 



Kelly Mulvaney specializes in supply chain management, which is the focus of her degree that she is pursuing in the College of Business at Lehigh University, with a minor in entrepreneurship. Kelly has had the experience of working as a research fellow on a team called PlasTech Ventures, which aims to combat the plastic waste crisis by creating community-scale recycling machines. She also contributed to the work of Allergan, a global pharmaceutical company, in which she observed production processes and created models illustrating how they can be improved.

 



Prabhjit Munteja is a passionate believer in the triple bottom line practice equating planet, people and profits together, and tries to incorporate this idea in his value system and investing. With the mission to make this planet a better place for future generations by making it economically prosperous, environmentally secure, and more inclusive, Prabhjit aims to empower corporates and individuals investors with impact management tools. Prabhjit serves as Programme Assistant for the UNDP, and is also working at 17 Asset Management as a Sustainable Investing Fellow, while pursuing his MBA at Fordham University.

 


Roy Ndebvudzemene is passionate about sustainable development and community revitalization. Roy is currently pursuing a degree in chemical engineering from Lehigh University. In search for innovative ways to create change, Roy has been involved in various global programs, including Yale Young Global and African Scholars and the Global Social Impact Fellowship.

 


Tiffany Pang is a bioengineer passionate about researching and designing devices for quality healthcare in an environmentally sustainable way. Tiffany is currently pursuing a degree in Bioengineering with the focus on Pharmaceuticals in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh University.

 


Alondra Perez is passionate about promoting innovation to understand the current environmental crises, with the engagement of local communities. At Lehigh University, where Alondra is currently studying Environmental Studies and Health, Medicine, and Society, she is engaged in a venture that provides individualized advice to the residents of Almaty, Kazakhstan on adjusting their lifestyles in light of the pressures of poor air quality.

 


Tommy Persaud is passionate about social entrepreneurship and making an impact on a community level. At Lehigh University, where he is currently pursuing his degree in computer engineering, he is developing a gamified app that educates users on environmental sustainability and sustainable behavior, while rewarding them for doing so. This project, called Save Tuba, aims to improve the recycling rate of Almaty, Kazakhstan, while creating lasting behavioral change.

 


Jordyn Pykon is an aspiring film journalist and storyteller, passionate about exposing the truths of society and validating the stories of awareness and to create policy change. At Lehigh University, where she is currently pursuing her degree, she is studying science journalism and documentary storymaking. Jordyn’s most recent projects include a documentary and a series of short videos highlighting the work of the people in Sierra Leone to improve local healthcare opportunities as part of Lehigh’s Global Impact Fellowship Program.

 


Josue Quintero brings his diverse experience in investment banks, retail, and research to the course. At Lehigh University, where he is currently pursuing his degree, he is studying finance. Josue possesses excellent team building, leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills, and believes that those are essential for developing a successful green ventune.

 


Alexander Raisch brings his experience in wind, solar, hydroelectric, and biofuels to the course. He has worked for the largest biofuel producer in the world, a Finnish Oil and Gas company with an office in Houston, Texas. There he became interested in carbon credits and their role in changing the carbon neutrality of countries. Alexander is interested in bringing biofuels to communities, and is always looking for ways to raise awareness of biofuels on the community level.

 


 

Hugo Ramos is passionate about identifying sustainable solutions to complex problems. At Lehigh University, where he is currently studying International Relations and Economics, he is working with Lehigh’s Global Social Impact Fellowship on tackling the severe air pollution issue affecting the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. His research team is creating a mobile-based application that utilizes real-time air pollution data to give specific insights for city residents to minimize their exposure. Hugo has conducted extensive research on air pollution, including a meta-analysis on the relationship between air pollution and health effects on different population groups.

 


Anneke Roy is passionate about women’s health and creating a world where all women have access to proper medical care. At Lehigh University, where she is pursuing her degree in sociology with a minor in marketing, Anneke is a part of the Global Social Impact Fellowship. The latter brings together multidisciplinary students to brainstorm solutions to sustainable development challenges in low-income countries. Anneke’s project, Ukweli Test Strips, focuses on the implementation of an affordable, 3-parameter urinalysis test strip for UTIs and Preeclampsia in Sierra Leone with the goal of lowering the high maternal mortality rate.

 


Sweta Sharma is a Business Analyst with the technical expertise and business skills necessary to translate business requirements and objectives into scalable, highly resilient, and successful solutions. Sweta brings over nine years of experience of translating qualitative and quantitative data into actionable insights through appropriate research methodology, and conducting research and analysis across a wide range of assignments, including market assessment, competitive intelligence, and business strategy plans. Sweta in currently working in the analytics and insight domain in an information technology and consulting company.

 


Yaryna Shura‘s interests and professional experiences have revolved around the development and evaluation of social and environmental policies, their effective implementation, and stakeholder engagement in their implementation. Yaryna holds a Master’s degree in Political Science, United Nations and Global Policy Studies from Rutgers University (USA) and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Studies, and Public Administration from the University of Padua (Italy). She currently serves as the Strategic Volunteerism Coordinator at the Hunger Free America, striving to mobilize the community to assure food security for all.

 


Pietro Spataro specializes in the management of decarbonization, climate change, and sustainability. He holds a Master’s degree in Management of SDGs and a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Earth Sciences and Climatology. Pietro is a co-founder of a non-profit organization called EnvironPeople, which aims to educate people about climate change. Pietro has rich experience of consulting businesses on developing long-term strategies for reducing emissions.

 


Kiia Strömmer is interested in understanding and assessing the impact that different organizations can have on our progress towards sustainability. She is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, at the Maastricht Sustainability Institute. Her research focuses on the ways that impact assessment can be used for identifying and implementing projects of value creation to deal with sustainability challenges. Her research explores impact assessment, social entrepreneurship and sustainability, and the interconnections between them. Kiia has an interdisciplinary academic background with four degrees from four different countries. She has worked with different organizations with prosocial/sustainability missions.

 


Kevin Tinnes is passionate about sustainable value chains and management. While pursuing his degree in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management, Kevin co-founded a start-up focusing on the production and distribution of sustainable furniture made of pallets. He currently works as supply chain consultant, and focuses on promoting circular economy and sustainability strategies in procurement.

 


Noah Weaver is passionate about contributing to solutions to complex challenges worldwide. At Lehigh University, where he is currently pursuing his degree in Molecular Biology, he is contributing to the Ukweli project that focuses on lowering the maternal mortality rate in Sierra Leone. Noah also works as an emergency technician at his local hospital, and possesses diverse experiences in clinical, social, and biologically-relevant research.

 


Bishoy Youhana has a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. He is currently pursuing studying computer engineering at Lehigh University, with a minor in economics. Bishoy’s research interests include Smart City applications (with a specific focus on their implementation in Kazakhstan) and machine learning.

 


Rozhin Zahrouni is passionate about promoting sustainability. At Lehigh University, where she is currently pursuing a degree in Molecular Biology with a minor in Marketing and Psychology, she serves as an Eco-Rep. Rozhin is a member of the Global Social Impact Fellowship program where she is working with a diverse team of experts on a year-long research project to design a copra oven and develop a cost-effective and sustainable copra preservation strategy to help increase the income of small-sized coconut farmers in the Philippines.

 




Alicia Zamudio brings her experience as a small business owner to this course. As a co-founder of Chaotic Good Sunnies, a fashion eyewear company, Alicia has a good understanding of the challenges associated with making eco-friendly products financially viable. At Lehigh University, where she is currently pursuing her degree, Alicia is studying Product Design and Marketing.

Frequently Asked Questions