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We Have Changed the Rules - now more teams can participate

We are very excited for this year's MBA Sustainability Case Competition and to allow more teams to participate, we are changing the rules.

Due to so much interest, we have decided to change a rule we have had since the beginning. In the past we used to only allow two teams from each participating business school. This year we are increasing this to three teams per business school. The purpose to even having such a rule is to allow involvement from a large variety of schools.

Our great video production team just finished this short video (2 mins) where past participants share their experience of the competition. If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth checking out....

More on this year's competition....from our website

Smeal College of Business in partnership with PepsiCo, IBM, Verizon, CNote and Opportunity Finance Network is pleased to announce the Fifth MBA Sustainability Case Competition for Fall 2018. The competition will consist of two rounds. The preliminary round will consist of electronic submissions of a case analyses. A panel of reviewers will select five semi-finalist teams who will be invited to Penn State to present their cases for first ($10,000), second ($5,000) and third place ($2,500) prizes on November 29 through November 30th. (See full site for complete set of rules, processes and dates.)

The case this year—focused on CNote, the new award-winning social enterprise that creates financial products embedded with impact—invites students to explore the quickly growing impact investing and social finance space through the experience of one of its exciting new entrants. CNote, founded in 2016 by two female entrepreneurs with deep backgrounds in finance, is an award-winning social enterprise providing sound returns while investing in underserved communities across America. Within the larger impact investing space, CNote has chosen to focus on non-stock financial vehicles with strong returns and social impact. Their first product is positioned as an alternative to traditional savings options.

To maximize impact, CNote partners with Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), federally-certified community lenders with decades of experience empowering economically distressed communities. CNote members already committed over $17 million in investments to communities across America.

There is a lot of evidence that Millennials want to use their money to support socially responsible brands, companies and to exercise their values when managing their money. With strong, community-based partners, a technology-enabled platform, and a willing market, CNote has a bright future. But they face real challenges. Despite a general interest, few in the market understand impact investing and convenience tends to trump higher ideals. How will they overcome these challenges and succeed in making finance a tool for change?

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