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Past Projects

Past GELS scholars have shown great creativity in designing their own unique projects. The projects are wide-ranging in aim, dive into questions of business as well as of social entrepreneurship and span several continents. The only common denominator is that all projects, each in their own way, fulfil the purpose of the GELS scholarship: to offer personal development outside of the academic realm.

2016 - Achieving Greater Gender Equality in LEDC – What is the Philliphines doing that other LEDCs are not?, the PHIlippines and china

The gender equality issue has always been important to Astrid and Linus, who feel it is especially relevant since a more equalized gender distribution throughout society might be a way for LEDCs to achieve greater prosperity. The scope of this project is therefore to study the gender equality situation in senior management/board positions in Philippines, and transform these findings into actionable, practical plans for equality improvement to be implemented in selected firms. In order to do that,  Astrid and Yuelin travelled first to the Philippines to investigate how a country with the highest percentage of senior management positions occupied by women and the highest percentage of Corporate Board Member occupied by women in Asia achieved its position in gender equality. Findings from the Philippines were then converted into actionable plans for gender equality improvement measures, and these plans were presented and practically implemented at selected firms in China with poor representation of females within the management.

2015 - Enhancing the status of the teaching profession, China and Finland

Sweden is today experiencing a crisis when it comes to education, with lack of teachers and a demand that is expected to increase in the coming years. Moreover, the teaching profession in Sweden has a very low status in comparison with other countries. The focus of the project is therefore China and Finland, as these two countries stand out internationally in the context of education. What makes it interesting is that although both countries are performing extraordinarily for international standards, they differ completely in their approach towards education. Erik and Emanuel will interview students, teachers, professors and other important actors involved in the Chinese and Finnish educational system, trying to investigate what are perceived to be the most important factors in this issue. The aim of this project is thus to get a better understanding of the major forces governing the attractiveness of the profession and try to understand how to apply the learnings from China and Finland to the Swedish reality.

2014 - Developing a Fusion Marketing Toolbox to Improve Transaction Efficiency in Bazaar-like Economic Settings, Kyrgyzstan

From an economic perspective, the bazaar has always been the stereotypical form of a market place. Still nowadays, a significant number of people from South America, through Africa and all the way to Asia use the bazaar as the main platform of economic interaction. However, this market form exhibits various market imperfections, most of all information asymmetries that adversely impact transaction efficiency. The goal of the project is to adapt western marketing techniques to the characteristics of the bazaar economy; thereby developing a set of marketing tools that help overcoming the inefficiencies and create a win-win situation for both the buyers and the sellers. Adam and Johannes travelled to the Jayma bazaar in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, which is the biggest bazaar in Central Asia, located on the historic Silk Road, to find out how they could create value for the people engaging in bazaar transactions.

2013 - Running dry, South Africa

In light of 2013 having been declared the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, water issues are gaining increased attention. Cooperation around water resources, at all levels of society and across national borders, is recognized as the key to long-term water security. Today, South Africa is experiencing water stress. Discussions revolve around the importance of cooperation in managing water scarcity and ensuring sustainable development. The aim of the project was to study systems of water management through a game theoretical perspective, identifying the drivers of and obstacles to cooperation. When is cooperation achieved and under what circumstances? What is the role of incentive structures and coordination mechanisms in achieving or preventing cooperation? In answering these questions, Clara and Jasmin went to South Africa, initiating a dialogue with various actors involved in water management, representing the academia, organisations and politicians.

2012 - Predators Side by Side, Kenya

Because of conflict with people, a lot of wild predators over the world are decreasing in number. Lions in Kenya and Tanzania, for example, have lost three quarters of their numbers in the last two decades. The question for the project was to see if there are any economic systems that can create a scenario where humans and wild predators can be neighbours without threatening each other's existence. With different economic incentives, is it possible to prevent people from retaliating on lions and other predators after attacks on cattle? How do we replace aggression with tolerance and appreciation of these majestic animals? Travelling through different parts in Kenya and Tanzania, mostly visiting organizations and lion researchers out in the bush, My and Karin investigated the effect of participatory management, monetary compensation systems and incentives for and investments in predator-proof enclosures.

2011 – Mobile Banking in Burkina Faso

The aim of the project was to investigate the possibility of and to promote mobile banking and money transferring services in the heart of the industry's fastest growing regions, namely Western Africa.

2010 – Making Bottled Water Greener, USA

The aim of the project was to create a business model for an environmentally sustainable alternative to bottled water, adapted to the Nordic market. The industry was studied through interviews with traditional beverage companies as well as alternative business models in the US. The result was presented to Swedish companies and one of the studied models was developed to a business by the project initiator.

2009 - Master's Thesis without Borders, Kenya and Tanzania

The aim of this project was to investigate the opportunities and obstacles for master students to write their master's thesis for companies and organizations operating in less developed countries. The study was conducted during six intense weeks in Kenya and Tanzania, interviewing students and local and foreign organizations operating in the region. The project resulted in a model of how to create a 'meeting point' for interested students and organizations as well as how to provide inspiration and practical information to reduce the lack of knowledge and ambiguity that prevents students from going abroad. The model is currently being implemented as a part of the newly started non-profit student consultancy 180 Degrees Consulting in Co-operation with Stockholm School of Economic Students Association and the University of Sydney, www.180degreesconsulting.org.

2008 - Towards greater heights - microfinance in Nepal

Microfinance holds the promise of helping thousands of people in developing countries to gain a better quality of life. The conditions for distribution in Nepal are however vastly different from neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, limiting the use of microfinance. Tha aim of the project was to create a distribution model better suited to the local conditions of Nepal. Working with local MFIs and visiting villages in the remote areas of Nepal, David and Jian came up with an indirect model of distribution that makes use of existing infrastructure and local business practice.

2007 - "På plats i mitten", China

The project studied differences between entrepreneurship in China and Sweden, with sub-focus on environmental technology and venture capital. Through studying and interviewing 25 entrepreneurial companies in China with both Swedish, international and Chinese origin, some of the key success factors for foreign entrepreneurship in China were identified - the most important and fundamental being to not behave and judge by Western standards, but enter China with an insatiable amount of curiosity and openness to the Chinese way of thinking.

2006 - Increased donor communication and coordination in Uganda and Tanzania

This project aimed to improve donor coordination between two Swedish NGOs and their co-donors, supporting Ugandan and Tanzanian civil society organizations. Discussions were initiated on how to harmonize reporting routines, improve communication and facilitate more strategic partnerships in order to reduce the administrative burden of the East African NGOs and prevent corruption. The final report identified opportunities and challenges in donor coordination among NGOs.

2005- Market Entry Strategies, Japan

The project "Market Entry Strategies – A Study of the Japanese Fast Food Industry's Opportunities on the Swedish Market" included a visit to Japan to study the domestic fast food industry. The visit was followed by an overview of the Swedish fast food market, and the production of a report to help Japanese fast food chains to navigate the Swedish market.

2004 – Project for Sustainable Development

The goal of the project was to consolidate best-practice recommendations on how academic institutions can include sustainable development in their curriculums and thereby act as enablers and multipliers in this field. The long-term vision was to contribute to future efforts towards sustainable community development in line with the UN's Agenda 21.

2002 - MBA benchmarking, USA and the UK

During the summer of 2002, Johan carried out a field study to top-ranked universities in the US and UK (among which Harvard, MIT, Yale, LSE, and Oxford). The aim of the study was to gather insights for the new full-time MBA program that was to be launched at the SSE, with particular focus on student recruiting and admissions. Johan had identified this as an area where SSE could improve, and went to the US and UK to visit the best-practice institutions.
The results of the study were compiled in a report that was presented to the President of the SSE, as well as the Executive Director of the SSE MBA program.

2001 - Marketing the Wild East, Russia

Including fifteen in-depth interviews with non-Russian managers, all active in St Petersburg, this study aims to investigate relationship marketing in Russia. Four local marketing experts were also interviewed to provide a general idea of the Russian marketing climate. The study resulted in valuable insights into how foreign actors adapt their business activities to the Russian business climate and the importance of personal relationships in that adaptation.

2000 - The market for online retailers of baby gear and products, USA

Through interviews with representatives of internet businesses and large non-internet retailers, this study of internet trade with baby gear and products outlines consumer priorities and the distribution of products. The study was conducted during a turbulent and dynamic period, at the beginning of the end of the dotcom-bubble, in California and Washington DC.

1999 - The Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry, USA

The first GELS scholarship sponsored the holder's participation in The Global Village for Future Leaders in Business and Industry in Iacocca, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1999.The Global Village is a business and leadership summer program initiated by Lee Iacocca. The ambition of the program is to gather high achieving students and young professionals to build a global network of business leaders that have a good understanding of, and can easily navigate in, different business cultures and regions.

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