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Student Stories


2016 Finalist Presentations:

2016 Seed for Change Finalists:

  • GoMango: provides low-cost refrigerated transport to food producers in India.
  • Torr Energy: for-profit company that uses a series of technologies and a unique model to produce and sell low-cost waste-derived solid fuel in remote areas.
  • The Craftsmen: small forest enterprise facilitator that creates new value chains, provides year-round employment, and trains communities in sustainable harvesting practices.

Other student stories:

  • Champion for India’s Girls: Priya Shankar, MPH ’16, is launching a peer education program to help girls live healthy lives

  • Alum Q+A: Saving the environment and improving women’s lives, one pad at a timeSaathi, founded by several MIT and Harvard graduates, has developed an eco-friendly sanitary pad made from local banana fiber that is fully compostable and bio-degradable. They hope it will give women more freedom in India and other developing countries.

  • Alum Q+A: Saving lives at birth: Sabeena Jalal, an alum of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and currently based in Karachi, has developed a blade to be used by midwives during childbirth to cut the umbilical cord. The blade does not get infected, so she hopes the tool can reduce the rate of infant mortality in developing countries.
  • Alum Q+A: A new model for education: Taktse International School is a not-for-profit coeducational school located in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, near Gangtok, Sikkim, India. The school encourages creativity and innovation among students, with a goal of “producing the compassionate and ethical leaders that developing societies so desperately need.”
  • Alum Q+A: Using entrepreneurship to impact education in Pakistan“When you take the first step, the landscape changes and you see opportunities instead of challenges,” says Imran Sarwar, Harvard Kennedy School alum, about entrepreneurship. Sarwar is the co-founder of Rabtt, which aims to change the education landscape in Pakistan.

Harvard i-Lab


The following courses are examples of project-based classes at Harvard that encourage entrepreneurship (please note, this is not a complete list):

  • CS50: Introduction to Computer Science, David. J. Malan
  • US World 36: Innovation and Entrepreneurship: American Experience in Comparative Perspective, Mihir A. Desai
  • Engineering Sciences 139: Innovation in Science and Engineering: Conference Course, David A. Weitz
  • ES 239: Advanced Innovation in Science and Engineering, David A. Weitz
  • SCI-PHYUNV 27: Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science, David A. Weitz
  • Electrical Engineering 50, Marko Loncar
  • SOC-WORLD 26 Africa and Africans: The Making of a Continent in the Modern World, Caroline M. Elkins
  • ENG-SCI 20: How to Create Things and Have Them Matter, David A. Edwards
  • Cultural Agents, Doris Sommer
  • SW47: Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Social and Economic Problems, Tarun Khanna
  • SW47:A132 Educational Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in Comparative Perspective, Fernando Reimers


Omidyar Grant for Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial solutions to social and economic problems in South Asia

In 2013, SAI awarded the Grant for Entrepreneurship in South Asia (GESA) to students who wish to pursue projects that provide entrepreneurial solutions to social and economic problems in South Asia. Proposals considered for funding include those that immerse students in the problems of South Asia and present innovative entrepreneurial attempts towards its solutions. Projects took the form of a business plan, a plan to build a non-profit, or a plan to create a regulatory intervention. Each solved a concisely stated significant problem in a particular setting in South Asia.

Click here to read about the winners.