Masters' programs - tomorrow is our business

Summer School students Team Up With Lafarge to Build Sustainable Business Models

09 Jun 2015

Over the past two weeks, students in the HEC Paris Summer School, Inclusive and Social Business have collaborated with Lafarge to develop innovative, market-based solutions to crises in third-world countries.


On Wednesday June 7, participants from around the world presented their final team projects to a prestigious jury comprised of Lafarge executives, the Enterprise and Poverty Action Tank, and HEC professors. Under the guidance of Academic Director, Frédéric Dalsace, holder of the HEC Paris Social Business chair, the students worked directly with Lafarge associates to address sanitation and refugee crises in impoverished areas across the globe.

Two groups were honored for exceptional work: among those working on sanitation, the Jury recognized Laura Nora, Akimitsu Ofuji, Mohammed Kone, Yuen Tung Chan, and Vinisha Mulani. A second team, including Martin Schumaker, Maria Antonia Marega, Wenyu Xie, and Sunila Rajan also received awards for their innovative refugee housing project, titled “LaBrick.”

“We leveraged our different backgrounds in order to complement each other,” said Schumaker, whose diverse team included a chemist, a cultural studies major, and an electrical engineer. “We used what might otherwise be considered challenges to our advantage.”

The presentations marked the culmination of a rigorous and eye-opening two weeks, over which students heard lectures from social business pioneers including Charles-Edouard Vincent, founder of Emmaüs Défi, and Jacques Berger, Director of the Enterprise and Poverty Action Tank, as well as many others.
For more information on the HEC Paris Summer School, which is open to students of all backgrounds and nationalities, contact