Three Student Projects Earn Grants for Social Enterprise Partners

by St. Andrew's Communications Staff
A chicken farm that provides training and reduced food prices for residents of Tourin, Haiti will receive full grant funding from St. Andrew’s Anne Wallace Fund for Service Learning, while two more projects will share a pilot grant for a joint venture, after students pitched the projects on behalf of their partner entrepreneurs.
Four teams of juniors and seniors in St. Andrew’s International Development and Social Enterprise class made their pitches to a panel of experts in the field April 21. 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 project that earned full grant funding, the chicken farm in Haiti, was pitched by seniors Ethan Harrington, Ben Naab, and Sarah Schwartz. Other projects pitched include a restocking warehouse for local women-owned market businesses in Delmas, Haiti (presented by seniors David Greenberg, Tomisin Aina, and James Cronic); a meal catering business for family events in Winterveldt, South Africa (presented by juniors TJ Gadsden and Maya Noboa, and senior Will Yore); and an equipment rental enterprise for events in Winterveldt, South Africa (presented by juniors Brianna Lane and Kareena Mehta, and senior Annabel Resor).

Two of these projects, the meal catering business and the equipment rental enterprise, received a pilot grant to develop a joint initiative between the two companies. Grants awarded by the Anne Wallace Fund for Service Learning average between $3,000 and $5,000.

Panelists judging the projects included:

  • Nici Bush, General Manager Symbioscience, Mars Candy Company
  • Geoffrey Chalmers, Managing Director- Partnerships and Investment, ACDI/VOCA
  • Stephen Kiingi, Development Consultant
  • Steve Koltai, MIT D-Lab Strategic Advisor for Entrepreneurship Ecosystems 
  • Bob Latchford, Co-Founder - ETHIX360 and CFO – WealthEngine
  • Sam Wallace, Peace Corp Volunteer/ St. Andrew’s Alum

"The International Development and Social Enterprise course is a wonderful program that simultaneously achieves multiple objectives. It promotes creative, collaborative problem solving and encourages students to understand the multiple dimensions of international and business development,” Koltai said. “It is the kind of program that would be innovative at the college level. At the secondary school level, it is almost unheard of."

The International Development and Social Enterprise class is taught by co-Director of Service Learning Chuck James, History teacher David Brandt, who explores the history of South Africa and Haiti, and English teacher Liz Kiingi, who focuses on the economic aspects of international development and social enterprise.

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.