2013 Omidyar Grant for Entrepreneurship Recipients:
The South Asia Institute at Harvard University is pleased to announce the Grant for Entrepreneurship in South Asia (GESA) to students to pursue project(s) that provide entrepreneurial solutions to social and economic problems in South Asia.Proposals considered for funding will include projects that immerse students in the problems of our generation in South Asia and present innovative entrepreneurial attempts towards its solutions. Projects may take the form of a business plan, a plan to build a non‐profit, a plan to create a regulatory intervention, etc that solves a crisply stated, and significant, problem in a particular setting in South Asia.
Deadline: TBD – Spring 2014
The Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm. The Omidyar Network creates opportunity for people to improve their lives by investing in market-based efforts that catalyze economic and social change. Click to read more.
Team Members: Imran Sarwar, Harvard Kennedy School
Saniya Ansar, Harvard Kennedy School
Haider Raza, Harvard Kennedy School
Nora Elsheikh, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Asad Husain, Harvard Business School
Rabtt is an initiative that aims to enhance the public education system in Pakistan through engaging public school students in short-term education camps and year-round workshops. These camps and workshops aim to develop critical and independent thinking abilities, confidence, tolerance and adaptability to new ideas among students. This project aims to assist the organization transition from its pilot phase and step towards its new 5 year growth plan. Curriculum reform and new engagement models will be tested during the summer camps, from June-Aug 2013, which will take place in Lahore, Pakistan.
Team Members: Ishani Premaratne, Harvard College
Inesha Premaratne, Harvard College
Casimira Karunaratne, Harvard College
A. Nilesh Fernando, Harvard University
GrowLanka is an innovative, voice-based mobile system that delivers job alerts to job seekers in Northern Sri Lanka. In the aftermath of a 25+ year civil war that left behind more than 90,000
war widows, the region suffers from high unemployment rates due primarily to an information gap that exists between job seekers and employers. This means that employers have no capability to advertise job opportunities to the villagers who would be willing to work for the salary they offer, and thus, hundreds of jobs go unfilled in recently opened factories (as seen in May 2012 in the case of a newly opened MAS Holdings factory). We believe that it is unacceptable that so many jobs should go unfilled when so many are in need of work to support their families. GrowLanka will close this gap.
Team Members: William Lewis, Harvard Medical School
Karen Ziao, Harvard College
Matt Yarri, Harvard College
Richard Salbia, Harvard College
Styliani Pantela, Harvard College
This proposal aims to provide partial support for a multi-disciplinary team of Harvard students to develop innovative solutions to pressing healthcare needs identified in India. The project builds off a successful Omidyar supported project from the summer of 2012 that immersed 4 Harvard students in India where they identified 30+ medical needs by being immersed in a medical environment in India. Based on the work from last summer, a subset of the students continued on the project and developed a prototype low-cost medical device for capsular access in cataract surgery. The device demonstrated the potential for improving how cataract surgeries are performed by providing an alternative between high end laser systems and simple manual tools. This summer, a new group of students are looking to travel to India further explore the needs identified from last summer and also explore other opportunities for Innovation in collaboration with Harvard faculty and staff as well as local stakeholders at academic and medical centers in India.