Social Enterprise Experts Award Grants to Student Projects

by St. Andrew's Communications Staff
A fish farm in Haiti and a supermarket in South Africa will receive full grant funding from St. Andrew’s Anne Wallace Fund for Service Learning after students pitched the projects on behalf of their partner entrepreneurs.
Four teams of seniors in St. Andrew’s International Development and Social Enterprise class made their pitches to a panel of social enterprise and international development experts April 17. The presentations were the culmination of a year learning the macro and micro challenges facing those wishing to begin their own businesses in underfunded communities.

The winning projects were pitched by Eve Fredman and Isabelle Russell (an expansion of the Aidall fish farm at Lake Péligre in Haiti) and Ava Katz and Jenny Freedman (an expansion of Vhavenda Supermarket in Winterveldt, South Africa). Other projects pitched include a clothing enterprise, Scripted Streets, in Winterveldt, South Africa (presented by Ethan Opdahl and Cindy Matsiko) and interpretation services from Interpret Haiti (presented by Julia Losey and Peter Bronson).

Panelists judging the projects included:

  • Anne Wallace, Chair, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School Board of Trustees, Emeritus
  • Bob Latchford, Co-Founder of ETHIX360 and CFO of WealthEngine
  • Stephen Kiingi, International Development Consultant
  • Gretchen Hartley, Senior Director - Communication for Marriott International
  • Geoffrey Chalmers, Managing Director- Partnerships and Investment for ACDI/VOCA

"The opportunity to create enterprises and fund them is a spectacular opportunity to introduce students to business development,” Latchford said. “I was blown away by what I saw and heard yesterday. Exposing students to this kind of learning is necessary."

The five International Development Projects funded through the Anne Wallace Fund have produced more than $79,000 in revenue and community value within the past three years for 86 beneficiaries. As a result, beneficiaries had an average 66% better living standard as a result of these enterprises.

“It was a pleasure and privilege to sit on the panel for the International Development and Social Enterprise class at St. Andrew's,” Wallace said. “The students were so enthusiastic about their projects and showed both a deep understanding of how to develop a business model and great empathy for the needs of the community that would benefit from their projects.”

The International Development and Social Enterprise class is taught by co-Director of Service Learning Chuck James, the history of South Africa and Haiti from History teacher David Brandt and economics from English teacher Liz Kiingi.

Final contracts and conditions will be negotiated before the enterprises receive funding. To learn more about this class at St. Andrew’s, check out James’s article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Click here to learn more about St. Andrew’s Episcopal School international partnerships.
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St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private, coeducational college preparatory day school for students in preschool (Age 2) through grade 12, located in Potomac, Maryland.