Improving access to education in India is the winning proposal at this year's Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge.
Improving student retention in Indian low-fee schools is the inspiration behind the proposal by EduIndia Fund, the three-member winning team of this year’s Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge.
The students from the Kellogg School of Management from Northwestern University beat stiff competition from nine other finalists presenting at Morgan Stanley’s New York office on Friday, April 7. Their proposal is a private debt fund that helps low-fee private schools retain students struggling to pay tuition.
“One of the first things we want to do is donate money to the schools who helped us with this," says Ashwin Halgeri, who with Erica Hoeveler and Chris Shaw, spent the past four months working on their proposal.
The Challenge, presented by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and Morgan Stanley, invites teams of graduate students to address critical social and environmental challenges and achieve market-rate financial returns. The winning team was one of 10 finalists who pitched their investment vehicles and made their business case for a sustainability goal.
“Millennials are taking notice and action on how to address our social and environmental issues through financial vehicles and are a key growth driver for sustainable investing,” said Audrey Choi, CEO of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing. “The students in this year’s Challenge are leading the way for the next generation to creatively combine their passion for social change with the goal of achieving competitive financial returns.”
The demand for sustainable investing has grown to the point where appetite for investment opportunities vastly outstrips the supply of investment-ready projects.
“We are proud to host this challenge in which students can apply their financial acumen and creativity to craft strategies that drive both market returns and social impact,” said Megan Kashner, Professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Director of Social Impact. “The Sustainable Investing Challenge forges the path for tomorrow’s business leaders and innovators.”
The Challenge recognizes that sustainable investing requires a pipeline of innovative thinkers, and seeks to identify and nurture the next generation of business leaders. This year, 196 students from across 37 schools submitted investment prospectuses targeting sustainability issues across 29 countries.