Wharton Social Entrepreneurship In Action: a few representative projects

Africa Seed Program – Impact Hub

africa_seed_3Impact Hubs are part innovation lab, part business incubator, part community center – and part of a global network. We offer our members a unique ecosystem combining inspiration and collaboration with pragmatic resources (including widely used tools such as The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook by Wharton’s MacMillan & Thompson) to create and launch opportunities that drive positive social impact.


A challenge facing much of Africa today is how to break free from the vulnerability and dependency that can follow on from direct philanthropy and learn how to use business principles to create lasting impact. Through our Africa Seed Program we will support changemakers across the continent. Each new local Impact Hub will be developed and owned by a local team, and will be deeply rooted in the local market and community. Join this rapidly growing movement of impact makers and become the co-founder of your own Impact Hub.



Community Enterprise Program, Goods For Good

goodsforgood1goods for ggoodsforgood3ood works with select community based organizations to build small onsite businesses, known as community enterprises, that provide an independent, sustainable source of revenue to these organizations. The revenue is spent on orphan care programs after a reserve to cover the operating expenses and capital costs of the business has been set aside.


The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook has helped us scale our program responsibly and direct resources efficiently. The book’s push to distinguish uncertainty from risk and to know whether we were considering something that is merely possible to ultimately plannable has driven us to focus on quality before quantity.



The Feed Company: Low-Cost, High-Quality Protien, Through Livestock Feed

feedcompany1 In Northwest Zambia, The feedcompany2Feed Company is a tiny animal feed producer in a region plagued with famine and poverty. Wharton Social Entrepreneurship helped The Feed Company apply modern business ideas line linear programming to the problem of generating better chicken feed, and paired operational and product improvements with a smart business model tailored to the local economic conditions.

Lower cost, higher quality chicken feed helps expand local chicken production, providing in turn a lower cost, higher quality protein source.

The Feed Company now employs more than 220 employees and supports approximately 1600 small-scale customers / farmers, which translates in to over 70 million daily protein servings each year.


The Bread Project

BreadThe Bread Project is a non-profit that provides free training for low-income adults interested in getting a job in the food industry. Our program offers a variety of technical skills training in our commercial kitchen. Clients have three training options to choose from: a 3-week boot camp; a 10-week baking class; and a 9-week cooking class. All three classes feature a job readiness component which focuses on soft skills training. This includes goal setting, customer service, conflict management, resume and cover letter writing, job search and application skills, and interview skills. All graduates participate in a nationally-accredited food safety and sanitation course to receive their Safe Food Handling Certification, enhancing employability. Established relationships with local employers enable us to provide job referral assistance and follow-up services for up to 15 months post-graduation for all of our clients.

Beyond Meat: Plant-Based Protien

educationprogram2Called “freakishly realistic”, Beyond Meat’s plant-based meats substitutes simulate the look, texture, flavor, and satisfaction of chicken and beef.

Available now at grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Safeway, Target and more across the U.S., at a global level, Beyond Meat is focused on creating mass mareducationprogram1ket solutions to perfectly replace animal protein with plant protein where doing so creates nutritional value at lower cost.

Co-founded by Brent Taylor WG’10, Beyond Meat is interested in working with Wharton Social Entrepreneurship to consider opportunities for entry in sub-Saharan Africa, where they can potentially serve as a cost-efficient protein source.

Humanistic Robotics: Landmine Clearing Technology

robotics1robotics2Humanistic Robotics, Inc. (HRI) is a company dedicated to making the world safer with technology. To that end, HRI manufactures a family of landmine and IED clearance devices that fit a variety of vehicles and can be pushed or pulled over roads or wide areas in order to detonate hidden explosives. These devices are used in peacekeeping and commercial development operations in five locations across Africa and the Middle East. In addition, HRI manufactures a line of wireless control devices, all based on HRI’s SafetySense protocol for reliable wireless transmission of critical machine control messages. HRI has developed handheld controllers, wireless emergency stops, and machine-to-machine wireless modules that all utilize SafetySense, and is currently selling them in the robotics, mobile off-highway vehicle, and industrial automation markets. HRI has an office in downtown Philadelphia, an assembly facility in Bristol, PA, and dozens of sales representatives across the US and Canada.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Northern Rangelands Trust, Borana Conservancy

wildlife1 wildlife2Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Northern Rangelands Trust, Borana Conservancy and a host of other groups, working with the Nature Conservancy and other larger NGOs, is building a program to support local communities, private conservancies and government owned and managed wildlife areas in providing connected, accessible rangeland for Africa’s iconic species–elephant, rhino, giraffe, lion, cheetah, leopard and many others whose existence is at risk today but will be at even greater risk in five years as Kenya’s population rises from its current 44 million to the projected 94 million in 2050.