The Milpark Business School (MBS) team that participated in the Global Social Venture Competition at the University of California, Berkley, arrived back in South Africa yesterday (12/04/2011). We are honoured and proud to have competed as one of the 12 global finalists in this prestigious competition. Over 800 teams from around the world entered the 2011 competition, and the 12 finalists battled it out after three rigorous rounds – an Executive Summary round, Regional Finals, and the Global Finals which took place at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. During each round of the competition, social entrepreneurs presented the social, financial, and environmental values of their business.
The team form MBS presented their innovative and revolutionary water purification product primarily aimed at rural communities and Municipalities. The product offering, One-drop, is made from a non-hazardous, non-chemical solution produced through the formation of ions in the water, free of harmful chemicals and toxins. For millions of people living in the rural communities without running water who have to rely on non-piped raw water for their daily needs, One-Drop will be able to purify contaminated water that gives rise to water-borne diseases. The solution brings a portable purification system that does not require advanced physical distribution network. The One Drop product will be supplied through the community owned and operated distribution centres which will increase employment and activate social entrepreneurship in rural communities.
For the MBS team, the whole experience – starting with the executive summary round, and culminating in the global finals – was a perspective-shifting journey, a journey of growth, learning and discovery. We gained valuable exposure and feedback from some of the greatest minds in social innovation, and we made new friends from all over the world. A truly remarkable experience, and our sincere thanks go to the MBS executive who made our participation possible, our supporters in SA, our regional organizers, the Indian Business School in Hyderabad, India, and the global organizers, the Haas School of Business at UC Berkley.
We congratulate the 2011 winners: 1st place: NextDrop, University of California, Berkeley / Stanford University, USA; 2nd Place: Sanergy, MIT Sloan School of Management, USA; 3rd Place: TreePlanet, Handong University, Korea.