Wolverine Disaster Relief: U-M students provide support in aftermath of disasters

Thurs, Sept. 13, 2018 – ANN ARBOR – As Hurricane Florence pummels the Carolina coast, the new Wolverine Disaster Relief team is busy getting ready in case they’re needed.

Founded in 2017 by Tim Carter, WDR co-president and an MBA student at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, the disaster club provides material, financial and volunteer support for those who have been affected by any natural or man-made disasters. Among its goals: assessing urgent needs and recruiting students and alumni to assist with long-term reconstruction projects. In its first year, the club sent volunteers to Puerto Rico and Texas to assist in hurricane relief efforts.


First Annual Business+Impact Showcase Attracts nearly 200 U-M Students, 30 Impact Organizations

Ann Arbor, September 7, 2018

Ann Arbor, September 7, 2018 – Business+Impact (B+I) is a new school-wide initiative to make Ross the most progressive source of ideas for business approaches to global challenges. As part of its mission to make students aware of all the impact opportunities across campus, B+I welcomed incoming and returning students to its first annual Business+Impact Showcase on Sept. 6 at 5 pm at Ross. Nearly 200 new and returning students met with 30 exhibiting organizations from U-M in areas of interest like social justice, equality, sustainability, social entrepreneurship and economic development.

Students visited booths for student clubs, Ross centers, and U-M-wide initiatives. A complete list of exhibitors appears at the end of this article. Michigan Ross Associate Dean for B+I Jerry Davis addressed the crowd saying, “Business+Impact reflects Dean DeRue’s desire to weave impact into the DNA of everything we do here at Ross. With that in mind, we are pleased to bring so many U-M impact groups here to Ross, so that students can map out their impact journeys while at the University of Michigan.”

As part of its mission to make students aware of impact opportunities, Business+Impact has also introduced the The Impact Portal (http://rossimpact.com), a one-stop online resource for all things impact on campus at the University of Michigan. This portal lists current events, courses, clubs, colleagues and more for student changemakers. Kept up-to-date and relevant, the site is a place where students can discover opportunities, read about classes of interest, search for like-minded colleagues, and find regional volunteer opportunities. It is the only resource of its kind at the University of Michigan.

After the success of its first showcase, the new Business+Impact initiative plans to host the event annually in order to provide new students with a roadmap for work in sustainability, social issues, poverty, economic development, human rights, and other causes. Michigan Ross, as the home of the Center for Positive Organizations and the William Davidson Institute, has already established itself as a school teaching the positive impact that business can have in the world, but the growth of B+I will institutionalize these goals with research, practicum and partnerships.

View a photo album from the event (on Facebook).

Complete list of exhibitors:

CONTACT: Glenn Bugala, Marketing Director of Business+Impact at Michigan Ross


August 2018 Newsletter

B+I Brings 25 U-M Impact Organizations to Ross, Builds Awareness

Business+Impact Showcase
Thurs, Sept. 6, 2018, 5 – 6:30 pm
Blau 5th Floor Colloquium

Welcome new and returning students! We hope your summer was empowering and invigorating, because we have news for you. The Center for Social Impact is now part of Business+Impact (B+I), a Ross-wide dean-level initiative to make Ross the most progressive source of ideas and solutions for how business can address global challenges like social justice and sustainability.

Business+Impact will administer the Board Fellows Program, the Summer Fund and the Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarship; and we will still partner on the Seigle Impact Track and Ross Open Road. In addition to fostering multidisciplinary partnerships, we will host an Impact Studio and a new series of social innovation speakers and conferences on campus.

As part of our mission to make students aware of impact opportunities across campus, we welcome students to our first annual Business+Impact Showcase on Sept. 6 from 5-6:30 pm at Ross. Students will have a chance to meet with 25 organizations and map out their U-M impact journeys.


The Impact Portal

In addition to being a champion for impact across the Ross landscape, we have created a one-stop shop for all things impact at the University of Michigan at large. The Impact Portal lists all of the current events, courses, clubs and colleagues that student changemakers would want to take advantage of while at U-M. Turn and return to it through the year so you don’t miss out on any of the exciting things happening at Michigan!


Interested in Working with the Board of a Nonprofit Organization?

Join the 2018-19 Nonprofit Board Fellowship Program

Business+Impact’s Nonprofit Board Fellowship program places top graduate students as non-voting members on boards at Southeast Michigan nonprofits. A list of participating organizations and the application for the program are available on our website, and is due Fri, Sept. 14 at noon. 

You must attend one of the info sessions below in order to apply to participate in the program for 2018-19:

If you are unable to attend due to an academic or religious conflict, please email businessimpact@umich.edu to schedule an alternate time.

Enroll in BA 601 “Governing Nonprofit Organizations” (7 weeks, Fall B 2018, October 31-Dec 11)

We strongly encourage students who wish to become Board Fellows to enroll in Ross School BA 601, “Governing Nonprofit Organizations” (Fall B semester), which provides analytical tools and academic credit for the Board Fellows program.

Graduate students who are not ready for the full Board Fellowship Program are also welcome to enroll in the course to learn more about nonprofit boards.

Intern Stories from the Impact Space

In the summer of 2018, 35 students from Ross and the Ford School of Public Policy developed unique skills while helping mission-driven organizations in Detroit and around the world. MBA students doing impact work received extra funding from the Give-A-Day Fund. These students were required to apply their classroom learnings to projects and challenges with a real potential for societal or environmental impact. We’ve asked a few students to share their experiences and takeaways in this article.



Apply for Your $5000 Scholarship Now

Business+Impact is proud to offer the Skip & Carrie Gordon Scholarship to three MBA2 students this year. Each scholarship is $5000 and students who receive the scholarship will have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to making an impact in their career and while at Ross. If interested, you must apply by noon on Fri, Sep. 21!


Where You Can Find Us This Month

September is a time for greeting returning students and meeting new students. We will be at the following sessions this month, and we’d love to say “Hi!”

School of Social Work
Information Fair
Sept. 5: Noon – 2 pm

Michigan Ross
Business+Impact Showcase
Sept. 6: 5 – 6:30 pm

Munger Graduate Residences
Opportunity Fair
Sept. 13: 5:30 – 8 pm

Ross Open Road Broadens Student Experiences

Three teams sponsored by Business+Impact, Zell Lurie InstituteSanger Leadership Center, the Erb Institute, and the Ross MBA program office headed out across the U.S. during the month of May, and brought innovative solutions to the challenges of 14 social entrepreneurs. It was all part of a program called Ross Open Road, an action-based social entrepreneurship program fostered exclusively by Ross students.

Read the blog posts from all of the teams and learn about their journey on the 2018 Ross Open Road Webpage.

Community News and Events

Net Impact at Ross Seeking Members

Net Impact @ Ross (NI@R) is welcoming new members. If you sign up, you are joining a group of student leaders that want to use business to change the world, and the NI@R board can help you figure out just what that means for you. As a member, you can look forward to receiving full access to all of NI@R’s events, programs, speakers and workshops to help you make the most of your time at Ross, increase your exposure to new topics and land that perfect job.

Membership Signup


Submission due Aug. 31

EmpowerHER, a partnership between Ford Motor Company Fund and Michigan Women’s Foundation, will offer a continuum of programs and services to women (and a few good men) wishing to start or grow Social Venture Enterprises. Concept paper submissions are due by Fri. Oct 6.

Submission Guidelines

Mona Hanna-Attisha

Sept. 12, 7 – 9 pm @ Rackham Auditorium

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha—accompanied by an idiosyncratic team of researchers, parents, friends, and community leaders—proved that Flint’s kids were exposed to lead and then fought her own government and a brutal backlash to expose that truth to the world. Join Dr. Mona for a talk, Q&A, and book signing of What the Eyes Don’t See.

Event Registration

Spotlight! Team Showcase

Sept 14, 7:15 am – 4 pm
@ Sheraton Ann Arbor

At the Tauber Institute‘s Spotlight!, students showcase their project results and compete for academic scholarships. Drawing extensive attention from industry, this event showcases innovative operations solutions that can result in significant financial savings as well as improvements in areas such as CO2 emissions, energy consumption, throughput time, and supply chain risk.

Event details

International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference

Sept 20-21 @ University of Toledo

Since 2004, The International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference has been bringing together researchers, practitioners, and individuals with lived experience in an effort to lay the groundwork for future collaborative research, advocacy, and program development.

Register here

Earth Fest 2018

Sept 20, 10 am – 2 pm @ The Michigan Diag

EarthFest is designed to engage, entertain, and educate University of Michigan students, faculty, and staff on all aspects of sustainability. Come browse dozens of booths with information on how to get involved in sustainability on campus and beyond. Enjoy free healthy food, live entertainment, and sustainability-related games with prizes!

Festival details


Sept 21, 8:30 am – 3 pm
@The Michigan League

Entrepalooza 2018 will focus on food entrepreneurship with topics including: Launching and Growing Food Product and Service Businesses with Positive Culture, Food Impact and Sustainability, Investing in Food and Agriculture and Innovating Beyond Startup.

Event Info

2018 Internship Experiences

About our Internships

In the summer of 2018, Business+Impact had a number of internship opportunities with a broad spectrum of organizations.  Students from Ross, Ford, and School of Social Work developed their skills while helping mission-driven organizations in Detroit and around the world.

Business+Impact’s Impact Corps internships placed MBAs and BBAs with global organizations like the Environmental Defense Fund, as well as with social enterprises like Mission Throttle and Civic Consulting Alliance.  Our Summer Fund helped place Masters and BBA students with government and impact organizations across the country, with funding from Business+Impact and the student-run Give-A-Day Fund. Our co-sponsored Ross Open Road sent twelve Ross students to nine U.S. states and 14 organizations over the month of May.

Internships are an important part of the work that Business+Impact does.  Students who engage in internships are consistently amazed at the passion and purpose of the impact organizations with which they partner.  Students are challenged to apply business learning to ambiguous organizational challenges. It requires a level of flexibility and insight to be successful.

Click here to see an album of photos from our interns.

Below, we share five snapshots of some of their experiences, providing a window into the broad experiences that Business+Impact offers:

Katie Allan – Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation

Katie Allan, MPP ’20

  • Type of Internship: Summer Fund
  • Organization: Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Project: I spent my summer as a research assistant with the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department through the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation’s Health Services Research program. Through this internship, I worked on a myriad of projects relating to women’s health. The topics of these projects included the impacts of the ACA on cervical cancer over-screening, the uptake of immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraceptive access programs at maternity hospitals across the United States, reproductive justice in contraceptive care, youth perspectives on essential health benefits that impact women’s health like contraception and STI screening coverage, and the impacts of short-term health plans on women and babies, among other things. I am in the process of publishing seven first author papers and two middle author papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as four first-author abstracts to national women’s health conferences. In addition to this academic output, I am also creating policy-relevant deliverables, including one-pagers and issue briefs to disseminate this work to hospital administrators, payers, elected officials, and public health workers.

How did you help deliver social impact through this experience/summer/internship?

My work, if published, will hopefully add meaningful contributions to a growing body of knowledge on the impacts of policy on women’s health. I hope that some of my papers and policy documents fill in knowledge gaps that help clinicians and policymakers make evidence-based decisions. While I don’t get to see the in-person impacts of the work that I did, I plan on pursuing medical school after finishing my MPP so I can interact face-to-face with those most impacted by health policy work.

What was your greatest takeaway or biggest surprise from the experience?

I’m honestly not sure I have one big takeaway from the internship. I learned something new each day and was able to put all of that knowledge into tangible, academic output. I did not expect to be able to work on so many projects that align so closely with my career aspirations, and am grateful that I was given so much responsibility on each of my projects. I was particularly surprised at how quickly I became an integrated member of the team: the nature of the IHPI-HSR internship is that you have already made a connection with your mentor(s) prior to starting, and I think that helped me really hit the ground running.

How did the support received from Business+Impact augment your internship experience?

The support I received the Business+Impact allowed me to pursue my internship of choice, not the one that paid the most. It would have been a shame to pass up the opportunity to work for my mentors, whose career paths I hope to emulate, for financial reasons.

How do you predict that this internship will affect your career plans?

Prior to this internship, I was trying to decide whether or not I would go to medical school after I finish my graduate degree: my summer has absolutely solidified that going into medicine is the right choice for me. To be able to see my mentors – who are practicing Ob/Gyns – work at the intersection of clinical medicine and policy, was powerful and engaging. They are able to translate their experience into policy work that incorporates the voices of the patients they see on a daily basis, giving their research and interactions with policy-makers incredible depth and clarity. I have gained lifelong mentors from this internship, whose expertise and advice will shape the rest of my career path.

What advice do you have for future interns?

I would recommend that you maximize the time you have by learning about the organization or topic on which you will be working before getting started. If you’re only working 10 weeks, it goes by really, really quickly, and you’ll want to make the most of the time you do have. I was lucky enough to be able to work through the whole summer break for my mentors, and will continue my work with them through the school year, but am glad I had solid background in the topic areas before starting. I would also recommend setting clear goals and deliverables for yourself and articulating them to your internship mentors, especially if you’re going to do research. Research deadlines can be quite nebulous, especially in a field as hectic as health services research, so make sure you’re advocating for yourself and the skills you want out of your internship.

Tim Carter, Advanced Innovative Medical Technologies

Tim Carter, MBA ’19

  • Type of Internship: Summer Fund Internship
  • Organization: Advanced Innovative Medical Technologies
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI / Kenya
  • Project: I worked with an Ann Arbor startup that develops safe, user-friendly, low power, and affordable medical equipment to improve health care options for under-served groups on a global scale. My role was to prepare for launch of their first product, NeoVent – a patent-pending, award-winning ventilator designed to save the lives of infants suffering from severe respiratory illness. My work involved conducting a market sizing analysis, customer discovery in East Africa, identifying potential partnerships, developing the supply chain, reviewing the business plan, and pitching the business plan to potential investors.

How did you help deliver social impact through this experience/summer/internship?

By supporting an impact-focused startup, my work was entirely centered on delivering social impact. Through developing a robust business plan, AIM Tech will be able to bring NeoVent to market in a manner that is both sustainable and scalable to save as many lives as possible. In designing the business plan, I kept the primary goal in mind to ensure the final product will maximize impact. During the customer discovery phase, healthcare implementers in Africa were excited to see NeoVent come to market, so they can use it to save infants that are currently left to die due to lack of appropriate technology.

What was your greatest takeaway or biggest surprise from the experience?

Working at a startup was a new experience for me. The thought of starting a business always seemed daunting. However, after working through the process this summer of launching a business to commercialize a new product, entrepreneurship seems much more manageable. There are certainly risks and challenges involved, but challenges are simply opportunities to learn. I now feel confident that my career goal of running a company focused on positively impacting the world can become a reality.

How did the support received from Business+Impact augment your internship experience?

Without support from Business+Impact, it would have been difficult to achieve everything I was able to accomplish during my summer internship. Since I was working at a very early stage startup, funding was quite limited. There was insufficient funding to cover even work-related expenses. Through Business+Impact funding, I was able to accomplish significantly more this summer. For example, I was able to travel to various pitch competitions and raise funding for AIM Tech. I was also able to visit various manufacturers throughout the region in-person to optimize the supply chain. If I had to cover such expenses out of pocket, I likely would have had to forgo some of these opportunities and my final deliverables would not have been as robust.

How do you predict that this internship will affect your career plans?

My career goal is to lead a company that is working to make a positive impact in the world, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This internship experience has solidified my career plans and helped me realize that it is within reach. It was also a great opportunity to both maintain my professional network and develop new relationships to help achieve my career goals. Furthermore, I was able to put my business education into practice and gain real-world experience in entrepreneurship.

What advice do you have for future interns?

My advice for future interns is to pursue their passions. It is easy to get caught up in on-campus recruiting and forget why you came to business school in the first place. I realize there are many factors involved in selecting a summer internship and full-time job, but if your goal is to make an impact, take the leap. It can be difficult to pursue internships without the promise of financial compensation, but things will work out in the end. Most importantly, you will make this world a better place.

Charlene Franke – Fundacion Mario Santo Domingo


Charlene Franke, BBA ’19

  • Type of Internship: Summer Fund
  • Organizations: Fundacion Mario Santo Domingo
  • Location: Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Project: My project was a collaboration between three organizations: FMSD, the Fundación la Cayena, and ACIMA (Asociación de Confecciones Industriales Mujeres Activas de Juan Mina). ACIMA is a 20-member women’s association in the Juan Mina neighborhood that sews industrial uniforms for local companies. They work very closely with the Fundación la Cayena, a Juan Mina-focused foundation that is providing all administrative and entrepreneurial services to ACIMA. My project was to facilitate the transferal of those administrative and entrepreneurial responsibilities from the Fundación la Cayena to ACIMA, with the goal of further empowering the asociadas and increasing the efficiency of ACIMA’s operations. I also had a secondary project, in which I recommended ways that our microfinance outreach team could better include our non-financial services.

How did you help deliver social impact through this experience/summer/internship?

The impact of my project was to equip the asociadas of ACIMA to manage their own accounting and other administrative tasks, with the goal of improving the efficiency and sustainability of their associative. Another goal was that this transfer of responsibilities also communicated the trust and confidence we had in the asociadas, and empowered them to believe more in their own intelligence, problem-solving skills and creativity.

What was your greatest takeaway or biggest surprise from the experience?

My biggest surprise was just how different the administrative operations of a microenterprise were to the cases and examples I’d encountered in my BBA classes. In my accounting or operations classes, we’d always be handed all of the data and financial records needed to solve the problem. However, in my internship, nothing was as straightforward as that – organizing and encountering income and expense data was part of the work. I learned that part of the challenge of working with microenterprises is learning how to creatively draw out the business’s financial and administrative data, or how to make do without it.

How did the support received from Business+Impact augment your internship experience?

The scholarship I received from Business+Impact really made my internship possible, as I was working at a foundation and didn’t get paid. I was able to live in a safe, upper-class neighborhood, and make the most of my time in Barranquilla, exploring the city and attending different cultural events.

B+I supported me not only in organizing my internship, but additionally through giving me advice on different aspects of my project. My first deliverable for B+I was a letter of engagement, which gave me the opportunity to plan out my project and discuss my proposed timeline with my supervisor. Additionally, throughout the internship, I was able to go to Matt with any questions I had. He was able to direct me to different resources, as well as give me advice on scoping different aspects of my project. I felt more confident all summer knowing that I had experts in social impact at UM to turn to if I ever ran into a roadblock.

How do you predict that this internship will affect your career plans?

This was my first substantial experience working and living abroad, and my internship showed me some of the pros and cons of working in a different country. I faced many communicational challenges, both due to the language barrier and different cultural norms, and didn’t know as much about Colombia’s history and policy. However, by being so far out of my comfort zone, I grew personally and professionally at a much faster pace than I could have in the US. I also loved living in Barranquilla, and really felt like I’d found a home there. In sum, while I’m still not sure if I’ll end up working internationally or domestically after my graduation, I’ll be much more educated about what I’m getting myself into!

What advice do you have for future interns?

I would advise other BBAs to keep up their language skills during college, and to consider working abroad! Even if you’re not thinking about international development, working abroad will push you out of your comfort zone, and force you to develop new skills in managing ambiguity, in navigating different languages and cultures, and in embracing failures and mistakes.

Simonil Rustomji – Inspiring Capital

Simonil Rustomji, MBA ’19

  • Type of Internship: Summer Fund
  • Organization: Inspiring Capital, LLC
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Project: My project this summer was to build out an implementable strategic plan along with a financial model for a furniture retailer, mebl | Transforming Furniture, that sources products made from reclaimed wood and metal. My client’s business is in a nascent stage, and therefore the work centered around designing effective recommendations, while also being mindful of the company’s capacity to execute. To achieve our objective, we took a deep dive into areas such as studying the competitive landscape, defining the right product mix, developing a pricing strategy, and identifying the right marketing tactics.

How did you help deliver social impact through this experience/summer/internship?

Social and environmental objectives are central to mebl’s  business model. First, they are passionate about promoting the furniture makers they work with by providing them with market access and information. Second, they are working to promote environmentally sustainable practices in the furniture industry. For mebl, creating a community around this movement is as important as generating revenue. I believe that my strategic plan provides a clear road-map for how mebl can efficiently and effectively achieve these goals.

What was your greatest takeaway or biggest surprise from the experience?

My greatest takeaway has been that sometimes the simplest solutions are actually the most effective. When I envisioned developing a strategic plan, I assumed we would be operating at a very high-level and providing elaborate solutions. However, I quickly realized that when designing the recommendations, its the ones that are clear and simple that add the most valuable for mebl.

How did the support received from Business+Impact augment your internship experience?

My internship was in New York City, which is frightfully expensive! Without the support from Business+Impact, it would have been very challenging for me to pursue this opportunity.

How do you predict that this internship will affect your career plans?

My internship has given me immense clarity around the kind of work that I truly enjoy. This experience will enable me to identify all the relevant resources I should be taking advantage of at Ross, and has set the tone for a very intentional job search in my second year.

What advice do you have for future interns?

There is a lot to be learned through the ups and downs of the recruiting process, don’t close your mind to those lessons. Also, don’t shy away from the unexpected. When I started at school, I never imagined I would end up in this internship. But, I’ve had the most fantastic summer, and I would have missed out on that if I hadn’t been willing to broaden my expectations.

Kashay Sanders – Ross Open Road Fellow

Kashay Sanders, MBA ’19

  • Type of Internship: Ross Open Road
  • Organizations: Lil Brilliant Mindz, Green Opportunities, JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies, Zuni Learning Tree
  • Locations: Detroit, MI; Asheville, NC; Birmingham, AL; Conway AR
  • Project: Solving various individual issues that social entrepreneurs faced

How was the experience?

This is the image that comes to mind when I think of the entrepreneurs with whom we have worked during the past four weeks. These entrepreneurs have the superhuman superpowers of seeing into the future, inviting others into their vision, persisting in spite of adversity, and making the world a brighter place simply by being in it.

How did you find the cadence of weekly work with social entrepreneurs?

Fridays became a bittersweet parting-of-ways. After a week, we became much more than work colleagues with our entrepreneurs — we become friends. Whether it was a summer grill-out, a barre fitness class, playing basketball, eating fried catfish together, or spending time with family members; after sharing our deliverables on Friday mornings, we would swap hugs and swag  before hitting the road again. It’s hard to imagine meeting so many incredible people — the many real-life superheroes— along the way.

Give an example of the kind of work you did on your journey.

Six-years old, ZUNI Learning Tree is strategically positioned for exponential growth in the ed-tech sector. Having applied for an Open Road team each of the previous four years, Tina said that the arrival of our team this year could not have been timelier: On the Wednesday during the week of our visit, she would be pitching to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) for nearly $500K in venture capital and tax credits. This influx of cash could prove to be the catalyst for building ZUNI’s core leadership team and securing broader market-share. On Tuesday we guided Tina through the updates while incorporating her feedback — then it was showtime. After the presentation, we visited the office of Apptegy, another local Arkansas ed-tech start-up and a vision of ZUNI in just a few years. We then wrapped up the week on Thursday and Friday by updating ZUNI’s business plan for pursuing social venture capital, creating an onboarding process for ZUNI’s summer content curators, and providing Tina with comprehensive executive feedback (which she had requested upon our arrival, showing that even superheroes can develop).

Content adapted from Kashay’s Ross Open Road blog post.

For a complete listing of interns and their internships for 2017 and several years before, click here.

For information on receiving your own student internship, click here.

Impact Hackathon Brings Together Global Leaders to Transform the Impact Economy

On July 12-13, Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business+Impact at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, worked with partners at Global Silicon Valley and the Stamps School of Art & Design to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, academics, corporate executives, policymakers, and others to discuss transformational ideas in impact. Using an architecture model known as a charrette, John Marshall of U-M’s Stamps School led subgroups in drafting solutions to the central question: “How can the impact economy create value beyond shareholder returns?” Subgroups then convened in a large group to hash out areas of common ground and disagreement.

Using a “hackathon” model over the course of a day, collaborative discussions addressed four focal questions:

  • How might we meet the social and sustainability challenges that are not being met by the current system?
  • How might we redirect efforts of initiatives that are falling short in the current economy and retool them for the impact economy?
  • How might we take advantage of new opportunities in the impact economy?
  • How might we accelerate existing initiatives in the impact economy?

Teams considered pathways for innovation within organization design, financing, impact business models, and through new dimensions. Participants were challenged to move beyond conventional approaches to solving problems or addressing needs.

The event was the beginning of a new Impact Task Force, founded by Michigan Ross and Global Silicon Valley (GSV). The ultimate goal of the group is to illuminate a path forward that enables new forms of enterprise and new models of funding to accelerate the pace of impact in the world. This and other annual events are designed to develop an ecosystem that will be at the forefront of sea change in the global economic system.

This July event was sponsored by Michigan Ross, Global Silicon Valley and Stamps School of Art & Design.

The Value of Accounting to Detroit and Local Entrepreneurs

by Aaron Ngo, Michigan Ross BBA ’20

Most people that know me well know that my parents were entrepreneurs. They owned a small Chinese restaurant near our home in the suburbs of Philly. Not coders hacking away on an app in the garage or MBAs pitching to a VC firm, they were local entrepreneurs — everyday people in the neighborhood who decided to start a smart business to create a living for themselves. Watching them, and countless others like them, drew me to get involved in entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan.

The experience thus far has been rewarding, I don’t regret anything. However I have noticed a large gap between what I used to consider entrepreneurship and the resources for students on campus. From what I’ve seen, most of entrepreneurship at Michigan focuses on the areas I mentioned earlier — tech companies and startups creating complicated software products. That’s not a bad thing (if you’re into that kind of stuff, more power to you), but I always felt like there was a disconnect between people like my parents and most of the entrepreneurs like my parents.

Let’s back up a bit and talk about my interests.

  • I’m a Philly native and a fan of everything related to Philly culture.
  • I’m a numbers guy and have always enjoyed math related courses (even if the grades don’t show it.)
  • I’m passionate about community building and social impact (i.e. a significant positive change that addresses a pressing social challenge.)

I’ve been reflecting a lot on these interests, my experiences, and life goals a lot this past year. I know I want to use my business education to make a social impact, but am still figuring the how part out. When the opportunity arose to join the Ross Accounting Outreach team, I thought it fit all of these interests and past experiences perfectly.

The Ross Accounting Outreach initiative is designed to help Detroit small businesses get their financials in order. We meet with small business owners every Friday to discuss their accounting needs. Everything from inventory turnover, developing cost structures of different products, and mapping out growth opportunities is fair game. But why exactly is creating a statement of cash flows or discussing costs of equipment considered social impact?

Well, by helping Detroit entrepreneurs and small businesses, we’re indirectly helping revitalize Detroit. With more small businesses in the community, more jobs are created and the economy is boosted. Retail businesses like restaurants in particular also make use of abandoned buildings and infrastructure. With an economy that has suffered after the Great Recession, this boost from entrepreneurs of all kinds is helping Detroit get back on track.

Local entrepreneurs benefit from our services because:

  • They’re completely free. All they have to do is sign up for an appointment on our website
  • Having properly organized financials helps businesses communicate important information to different stakeholders such as banks, grant writing institutions, and business partners. Many of the entrepreneurs we work with don’t have a formal business background, and so benefit from simply talking about this with us
  • Accounting tips and equations can help entrepreneurs see aspects of the business in new ways. Which products are the most profitable and to which customers are our marketing tactics the most effective? How long will it be until we pay off our loan? Can I afford another employee while I go on vacation?

Personally I as a student have come to appreciate accounting more after these few short weeks. It’s been a way for me to learn more about business and get acquainted with what social impact can look like. I’ve also had the opportunity to work more intimately with numbers. Seeing the entrepreneurs faces when they talk about their business or when they understand a new accounting concept is by far the most rewarding part though. Detroiters have a spirit about them that I’ve only experienced back in Philly. There’s a tough “roll up your sleeves” attitude that’s ingrained in the fabric of both cities.

“There’s a tough roll up your sleeves attitude that’s ingrained in the fabric of both cities.”

The genuine love for hard work and refusal to back down from a challenge that I’ve seen from the entrepreneurs is inspiring, and shown me that Detroit’s revitalization is well on its way. It’s also shown me social impact can take many forms — including behind the numbers of a financial statement.

To get more updates on Ross Accounting Outreach, you can follow the Center of Finance, Law, and Policy on Facebook or read up on the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project

See the original post on Aaron’s blog.

2018 COSI Meeting

Business+Impact at the Ross School of Business is proud to bring the Community of Social Innovation (COSI) scholars group to the University of Michigan May 11-13, 2018. The group has a mission to foster and advance the sharing of insights around teaching, data, theory and methods in the social innovation space, and to provide focused opportunities to mentor junior scholars in the domain.

Summit Guests:

Full Bios in the Program

Sharon Alvarez

Tom W. Olofson Chair in Entrepreneurship, Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

Christine Beckman

Professor of Management and Organizations Director of the Center of Social Value Creation, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Marya Besharov

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Christine Bode

Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Technology, Universita Bocconi

Lindsey Cameron

PhD Candidate, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Natalie Carlson

PhD Candidate, Columbia Business School

Rodrigo Canales

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Yale School of Management

Giulia Capellero

Assistant Professor, Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management, Universita Bocconi

Johan Chu

Assistant Professor of Organizations and Strategy, Chicago Booth, University of Chicago

J. Adam Cobb

Assistant Professor of Management Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Tina Dacin

Stephen J.R. Smith Chaired Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behaviour, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

Jerry Davis

Wilbur K. Pierpont Collegiate Professor of Management, Professor of Sociology Co-Director, ICOS (Interdisciplinary Committee on Organization Studies) Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Teddy DeWitt

PhD Candidate, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Stefan Dimitriadis

PhD Candidate in Organizational Behavior and Sociology, Harvard Business School

Laura Doering

Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Jim Ferris

Professor; Emery Evans Olson Chair in Non-Profit Entrepreneurship and Public Policy; Director, Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California

Mary Ann Glynn

Joseph F. Cotter Professor; Director of Research, Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics, Carroll School of Management, Boston College

Michael Gordon

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Social Entrepreneurship Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Ling Han

Postdoctoral Fellow, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford University

Shon Hiatt

Assistant Professor of Management and Organization, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

Julie Hui

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Information, University of Michigan

Matt Kelterborn

Program Director, Center for Social Impact, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Anna Kim

Assistant Professor, Department of Management, HEC Montreal

Suntae Kim

Assistant Professor of Management and Organization, Caroll School of Management, Boston College

Brandon Lee

Associate Professor, Business Strategy, Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne

Chengpang Lee

China Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellow, Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School

Matt Lee

Assistant Professor of Strategy, INSEAD-Singapore

Bjoern Mitzinneck

PhD Student in Management, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University

Nancy McGaw

Deputy Director, Business and Society Program, The Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO

Kelley Packalen

Associate Professor of Strategy & Organization, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

Aruna Ranganathan

Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

Francesco Rullani

Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship and Management of Innovation, LUISS Guido Carli, Rome, Italy

Maureen Scully

Associate Professor of Management, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA

Angelique Slade Shantz

Assistant Professor, Strategic Management and Organization, Alberta School of Business, Edmonton, Alberta

Sara Soderstrom

Assistant Professor in Organizational Studies and Program in the Environment, College of Literature, Science & Arts, University of Michigan

Tracy Thompson

Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Masters in Cybersecurity and Leadership Program, University of Washington, Tacoma, WA

Marc Ventresca

Associate Professor of Strategic Management, Said Business School, University of Oxford

Chris White

Managing Director, Center for Positive Organizations, Adjunct Faculty in Management & Organizations, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Trevor Young-Hyman

Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Sociology, Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

Sylvia Dorado-Banacloche

Associate Professor of Management, University of Rhode Island

Andy Hoffman

Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan

Tanya Upthegrove

Division of Student Affairs – Student Success, University of Michigan–Flint


History of COSI

In 2010 a small group convened in Montreal to discuss how to collaborate and build a community of scholars with an interest at the intersection of social innovation and social movements. This culminated in the official launch of COSI at the first annual COSI workshop. Those founding Steering Committee members include:

– Tina Dacin, Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s University
– Jerry Davis, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
– Klaus Weber, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

The first COSI workshop was in collaboration with local hosts, Julie Battilana and Alnoor Ebrahim, of Harvard Business School and its affiliated Social Enterprise Initiative.

The group developed a mission is to foster and advance the sharing of insights around teaching, data, theory and methods in the social innovation space, and to provide focused opportunities to mentor junior scholars in the domain. The first workshop focused on roundtable discussions on paper development, presentations from junior scholars on their ongoing work and a dialogue on how to facilitate interaction amongst the group.



Getting to Ann Arbor

Our events will be held at the Ross School of Business (701 Tappan St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109) and our opening session on Friday will be at the Executive Residence (710 East University [at Hill]), where most of you will be staying. The Executive Residence is your first stop to check in for the meeting.

Detroit Metro is North America’s greatest airport and is only 20 miles from Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, it is not overrun with cabs. Here are some options:

1. Pre-arrange a car service

  • Metro Car (800-456-1701)
  • Royal Limousine (866-697-6925)
  • Golden Limo (800-300-5151)

2. Take a bus (http://michiganflyer.com/) – runs 8-12 trips per day

3. Rent a car (surprisingly cheap on weekends; can share with other conferees). Park at Forest Street lot, 1.5 block from Executive Residence, and we will provide voucher

4. Uber/Lyft/other ride-hailing software

Program Line-up

Friday, May 11, 2018

5:00 – 6:00 pm Check-In (B1590 Corner Commons)
6:00 – 7:00 pm Cocktail Hour & RRBM Update (Corner Commons)
7:00 – 8:00 pm Dinner (Executive Residence Dining Room)
8:00 – 9:30 pm Open mic for non-presenters (Corner Commons)
9:30 pm – ? Afterglow at Jerry’s house (1047 Martin Place)

Saturday May 12, 2018

8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast (B0570)
9:00 – 10:30 am Meet a social entrepreneur and share insights: Emily Staugaitis of Bandhu Gardens (B0570 and breakout rooms B0574, B0576, B1564, B1566, B1576, B2564)
10:30 – 10:45 am Break
10:45 am – Noon Content Session 1: Intrapreneurship (B0570)
  • Sara Soderstrom: “Empowering Intrapreneurship through the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps”
  • Christiane Bode:”Up to no good? Gender, social impact work and employee promotions”
  • Matthew Lee: “Categorical cognition and outcome efficiency in impact investing”
  • Lindsey Cameron: “Making out While Driving: Control, Coordination, and its Consequences in the Gig Economy”
12:15 – 1:15 pm Lunch/Open Mic (B0570)
1:00 – 2:45 pm Content Session 2: Entrepreneurship
  • Suntae Kim and Anna Kim: “Going Viral or Growing Like an Oak Tree? How Growth Perspectives Shape the Development of Nascent Business Ideas”
  • Stefan Dimitriadis: “How reciprocity frames lead to entrepreneurial social capital: A field experiment with micro-entrepreneurs in Togo”
  • Bjoern Mitzinneck and Marya Besharov: “Managing Value Tensions in Collective Social Entrepreneurship: The Role of Temporal, Structural, and Collective Compromise”
  • Shon Hiatt: “State agency discretion and entrepreneurship in the U.S. hydroelectric power sector”
2:45 – 3:00 pm Break
3:00– 3:45 pm Open Mic 2 (Breakout rooms B0574, B0576, B1564, B1566, B1576, B2564)
3:45 – 5:30 pm Designing a curriculum for impact-oriented research (B0570 and breakout rooms B0574, B0576, B1564, B1566, B1576,
6:00 pm – ? Dinner at Sava’s (216 S. State St.)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast (B0570)
9:00 – 10:00 am “How to Communicate to non-academics” – Andrew Hoffman (B0570)
10:00 – 11:30 am Content Session 3: Organizational Change and Performance (B0570)
  • Tracy A. Thompson and Marya Besharov: “Institutional Leadership: Integrating Moral Values and Business”
  • Rodrigo Canales: “Building effective, resilient, and trusted police organizations”
  • Francesco Rullani: “Less is More? Logic Multiplicity and Organizational Performance: Evidence from the US Healthcare Industry”
  • Sharon Alvarez: “Conflicting Dimensions of Legitimacy and Pioneering Organizations: The Case of the Cuban Paladares”
11:30 am – Noon Closing Remarks (B0570)
Noon – ? Optional Detroit tour (TBA)



Conference sponsors:


See images from the 2015 conference!


“Our community is purposefully small, not dominated by any one school or perspective, and our objectives remain quite simple. Our goal is to build a community of scholars who teach and conduct research in this area” says Tina Dacin.
“It was an extremely valuable experience for all of us, so thank you so much for the invitation, for the work, and for bringing us together. I very much look forward to our work in building and strengthening this community” wrote Rodrigo Canales, Assistant Professor at Yale School of Management in a follow up note to COSI after the first workshop.
This message was echoed by Wendy Smith, Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Delaware, who commented, “It was an honor and a pleasure to be included in this group. I know that a colleague and I received great feedback on both our theory and empirical projects on hybrid organizations. We really appreciated the opportunity to share our work with this community and look forward to future opportunities to connect with the COSI community.”

Workshop Papers

Watch this space for available papers.

Business Research is Broken Because of Faulty Faculty Incentives

May 2, 2018

William Glick, Anne Tsui and Jerry Davis wrote an article for BizEd entitled “The Moral Dilemma to Business Research, in which they argued the the current business research model is unsustainable, and that schools must realign their incentives to encourage faculty to produce credible research that is useful to society.  As much as business school research has the potential to create a better world, the opposite is often true: Business school scholarship can be a massive diversion of resources in ways that benefit faculty, not society.

Read the full article here »

Twelve MBAs prepare to Hit the Open Road

Meet the Teams that Will Head out on Ross Open Road

Three teams of four MBAs each are preparing to embark on road trips across America in May 2018. They’re part of Ross Open Road, an action-based social entrepreneurship program developed by Ross students. Each team will spend the month of May visiting a new social enterprise every week–meeting business owners on the weekend, analyzing their business during the week, and presenting findings and solutions by Friday.

The program, in its third year, is showing steadily increasing popularity at Ross, going from two teams to three last year, and returning with three teams again this year. This student-run program is co-sponsored by the Center for Social Impact, Zell Lurie Institute, Sanger Leadership Center, the Erb Institute and the Ross MBA Program Office. The program is designed to “give small business owners extra hands in solving complex challenges, and to help students gain real-world experience understanding the various issues social ventures face.”

Keep an eye on this website and on the Ross Open Road website for further details on routes and enterprises with which they will work.

Team ACAI (From Top to Bottom): Ian Stackhouse-Kaelble, Apoorva Kanneganti, Alexis Morath, & Courtney Poopat

Team ACAI (Apoorva Kanneganti, Courtney Poopat, Alexis Morath, Ian Stackhouse-Kaelble) look forward to applying their past experiences working across the healthcare, technology, financial services, and education sectors to help create an impact on the road this summer.  The team will visit Michigan Good Food Fund (Detroit), Us Food Market (Detroit), Mindshift (Fargo, ND), Lake Missoula Tea Company (Missoula, MT), and Homes First (Lacey, WA)


Team MACK (From left to right): Mark Green, Allison Bernstein, Kashay Sanders & Christopher Owen.

Team MACK (Mark Green, Allison Bernstein, Christopher Owen, and Kashay Sanders) is moved by a passion for social justice and wants to build upon  the important role small businesses play in the future of the U.S economy.  They will visit Lil Brilliant Mindz (Detroit, MI), Green Opportunities (Asheville, NC), JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies (Birmingham, AL), and Zuni Learning Tree (Conway, AR).

Team THIS (From left to right) Tsering Sherpa, Stephanie Dollan, Jinny Han, and Thai Ha-Ngoc

Team THIS (Stephanie Dolan, Thai Ha-Ngoc, Jinny Han, and Tsering Sherpa) bring a wide range of experiences to the table, from investment banking and operations to publishing and education.  They will visit Detroit Peppers (Detroit, MI), Compost Crusader (Milwaukee, WI), Learn Create Build (Sioux Falls, SD), Western Sustainability Exchange (Bozeman, MT), and another enterprise to be determined.

Track the teams on Instagram by searching #RossOpenRoad

Two Fall ’18 Courses Examine Microfinance

Michael Gordon, a Michigan Ross professor and faculty director of Business+Impact, will teach an MBA and BBA course on Microfinance this Fall ’18 semester.

The MBA course, Entrepreneurial Studies: Microfinance (ES 644) is about doing good with money via microfinance, impact investing, and social finance.

The BBA course, Entrepreneurial Studies: Microfinance (ES 444) covers the way money is transforming livelihood, health, education and other social problems around the world, including the US.