I was lucky enough to work in Dayton a few months back with the Creative Class Group. They have some great people there and some great universities. Today I found out about a really cool student venture that won the University of Dayton’s Business Plan Competition.
Salud del Sol, an innovative new business from a team of University of Dayton students aimed at bringing the ‘health of the sun’ to medical treatment in developing countries, took home the $10,000 first prize to help get the venture off the ground.
Winning the 2008 University of Dayton Business Plan Competition, the team of Lauren Dokes, Lori Hanna (pictured above), Daniel Hensel and Anna Young created a business plan to develop and market solar cookers and solar-powered sterilizers.
Here is a video interview with Lori Hanna. According to Hanna, b/c many villages in Nicaragua lack electricity, “nurses have to travel to bigger health centers or hospitals to use sterilizers, sometimes traveling long distances by bus and spending precious time and money to have access to equipment.” If they solve this problem I’d imagine they’d be bringing a lot of value to those people in Nicaragua.
I am not sure how much it costs to manufacture solar cookers and sterilizers, but it demands that we delve further into the social entrepreneurship debate. How do we measure social value? While entrepreneurs have always created social value (sometimes negative), we would primarily measure their ventures via income and shareholder value. These new ventures demand new metrics and measures related to social impact or value. Any thoughts?