Q1: Tell us a high level “Who/What/How” about Impact Consulting? What type of projects have you led there?
Impact Consulting is a student led organization at LBS that provides consulting services to organizations with high economic and social development potential. Our client base extends from entrepreneurs in developing countries to NGOs. Board members identify potential clients, scope and oversee projects. Projects are staffed from volunteer LBS students that are looking to make a contribution, build their consulting skills and learn about the social sector.
An example of a typical project, which I am very excited about, is the “Sector Profiling in East Africa” for the Gatsby Foundation (Part of the Sainsbury Trust). The objective is to identify sectors in the region where the foundation can use its resources to generate development and impact a large number of poor people. Through this project I have learned tremendously about East Africa and the challenges in the region with the leadership of an amazing team of committed MBAs! We have developed a great relationship with the Gatsby Foundation and already have a healthy pipeline of projects with them for the future.
Q2: How has working with Impact Consulting changed your MBA experience?
Impact Consulting has become the core of my MBA experience. It is the most rewarding activity I am involved in as well as a personal development opportunity. The reward comes from the social and development impact stemming from our work as well as from the amazing and passionate people I get to work with. In terms of personal development I have strengthened my client relationship and engagement management skills which will be key assets in the future. Impact Consulting has been an inspiration to continue my involvement in the social sector when I go back to consulting after my MBA. I hope it will serve in a similar way to many more that get involved!
Q3: In all, how do you think LBS has provided with opportunities to pursue your passion around Social Enterprise?
The school has very interesting initiatives around social enterprise along Impact Consulting such as the Global Social Venture Competition, the Volunteers Club, the Corporate Social Responsibility Club and to some extent the Emerging Markets Club. Looking forward we need to have greater cohesion amongst the different initiatives to lever each other effectively. In this sense the school has not been moving as fast as peer business schools. We rely heavily on individual student drive to achieve this cohesion and bring social and development impact to the forefront of school interests
Q4: What is ahead for Impact Consulting [goals and objectives?]?
Ahead we have the challenge to grow the organization with the aim of completing 15 to 20 projects per term. I invite alumni that are fostering growth in the region through entrepreneurial activities to reach out to us and explore potential projects. We have successfully delivered results for entrepreneurs in Africa (working from London) and are now looking to make our first step into Latam.
We are also working on formalizing all our processes and building alliances with consulting firms to provide training for our volunteer consultants. This is key for the long-term sustainability of the organization as the MBA has a 2 year turnover rate with people finishing their studies and moving on to their full-time work