Inventureships are one of the experiential learning opportunities that help our MBA students qualify for the Business and Social Innovation Intensity Track.
Examples of our Social Innovation Inventureships:
Wayfair had an opportunity to strategically deploy impact investment funds as part of its broader corporate commitment to advance equity in its communities. For her Inventureship, Martha worked with the Head of Social Impact to help assess opportunities for the company to put critical capital to work in Greater Boston and beyond. She researched two key impact areas to pursue: the creation of affordable housing units or growth capital for BIPOC entrepreneurs in Wayfair’s supplier pipeline. For her final presentation, Investing Built for Impact, Martha explained the opportunity, current reality, research findings, and next steps as Wayfair looks to redefine its investment and impact criteria for meaningful, sustainable impact.
What she learned and activated: "Traditionally companies have relied on corporate philanthropy and employee giving as the core levers to deploy critical funds into impact areas that are aligned to the core business. This opportunity to partner with the team at Wayfair as part of my Inventureship truly accelerated and expanded the lens that I have around how companies are leveraging impact investment vehicles to deepen their commitment to social impact in ways that can be transformational for communities."
–Martha Buckley MBA'23
Iroquois Valley Farms (B Corp.)
This Inventureship resulted in the creation of a whitepaper discussing the advantages of investing in farmland, explaining why an investment in organic land can have a higher financial return compared to conventional land, and how an investment in mid-sized organic and ecological farmland can make a substantial financial impact on rural communities. The MBA student researched, analyzed, and discussed topics including triple bottom line, impact investing, economies of size, the local money multiplier, slow money, organic food, local food, and mid-sized farming (vs. small “farmers’ market” farmers) to complete and publically present the final whitepaper: The Investment Advantages of Organic Farmland.
What he learned and activated: "The Inventureship was the perfect opportunity for me to apply my ongoing education at Babson at a real-world company that prioritized impact along with profit. The structure, funding, and support of the Institute for Social Innovation made the experience one of the highlights of my second year and paved the way for a smooth transition back into the professional world. Most excitingly, what began as an Inventureship ultimately led to a job offer and my current position as Director of Business Development at Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT, an organic farmland finance company raising private capital to secure land for organic farmers in 14 states around the country."
–Alex Mackay MBA’17
Greyston Bakery (B Corp.)
This Inventureship had two main goals. The first was to identify the top five metrics Greyston Bakery should be measuring and evaluating, and the corresponding operational changes necessary to track the data required for these metrics. The second was finding the ROI of Open Hiring by identifying the cost and potential savings of the model, and comparing it to the costs of a traditional hiring model. At the time, Greyston was the only known organization to use Open Hiring, and while the bakery has shown profitability and growth, the organization has not quantified the costs (or potential savings) of the different components of Open Hiring. Both projects help set the foundation for Greyston to create a more robust story and toolkit for other businesses to adopt Open Hiring. Evadne wrote a blog post and gave a presentation on her work Quantifying the Impacts of Open Hiring at Greyston Bakery.
What she learned: "My Inventureship at Greyston Bakery and Foundation helped me understand the importance of metrics and measurement for a social enterprise to communicate effectively with for-profit companies. Numbers, for better or worse, are one of the easiest languages to understand across department, industry, and culture, giving them incredible power. Greyston has used my work calculating the ROI on Open Hiring to help other companies understand the cost of Open Hiring."
–Evadne Cokeh MBA’17