2. Business Fundamentals

participantsThe Business Fundamentals section takes students through the traditional MBA subjects ranging from strategic planning through marketing and donor relations to microeconomics and the management of resources, providing students with a sound base from which to compete successfully with other MBAs for private-sector employment.

This section places a special emphasis on the role of social entrepreneurship as a new strategic space, where cutting edge market-based mechanisms are leveraged to create a positive change, which is increasingly seen as a powerful alternative to traditional social policy and development interventions.


Modules in this section include:

1. Governance and Management Challenges in the UN System
The course provides a conceptual framework and an empirical basis for examining governance and management practices in the UN system. The course focuses both on the specific characteristics of intergovernmental decision making and on the practical aspects of management. The method of work will focus on group work and case studies.

Dr. Bruce Jenks, Columbia University

2. Sustainable Finance
Get ready to dive into the world of credit, savings and insurance in their “bottom of the pyramid” incarnation. Bring along an open mind and your critical-thinking hat, and get ready to be an active participant in an eyeopening, myth-debunking journey into one of the development sector’s fastest growing and most contentious areas.

Dr. Iddo Dror, International Livestock Research Institute

3. Risk Management
The aim of this course is to give students a basic understanding of the principles of risk management and their application. By the end of this module, students should have a broad understanding of the risk management function in an organization, be able to define its risk and to develop a risk policy.

Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Fragnière, Geneva Business School (HEG) & Jean-Bertrand Helip, eBay

4. Leadership and Management in NPO
This course module complements academic work on non-profit organizations (NPOs). It aims at providing students with a practical understanding of how international NPOs are set up, governed, led and managed based on some defining factors such as their mission, guiding principles, history and stakeholders, as well as the environment they are operating in. It will walk students through some of the key features of leadership and management of NPOs, both in terms of management frameworks and of leadership and management practices.

Susanna Swann, Deputy Director General, Médecins Sans Frontières Switzerland

5. Managing Across Cultures
To gain a sound grasp of the challenges inherent in managing across cultures. We begin by analyzing the importance and relevance of culture in management practice and then go on to explore methods for understanding culture, and develop a framework for cultural analysis (national, corporate, functional, etc.). We examine the impact of culture on strategy, structure, and human resource management, and we evaluate different approaches to managing cultural differences and examine the role of managers and organizations in a global economy.

Prof. Gunter K. Stahl, University of Vienna

6. Performance and Resource Management in NPOs
This ‘practitioner course’ takes the students in six thematic sessions through the resource management functions in Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs). The course examines the constituent elements and boundaries of NPOs, their embedded incentive systems, and challenges to manage NPOs for results. It also provides the students the tools and analytical framework for an assessment of a NPO of their choice.

Achim von Heynitz, Consultant at IFAD, AfDB, ILO, OPCW

7. Business Plan
Participants will explore the relevance, feasibility and strategy for the implementation of an innovative project. Participants will not only learn to determine whether this project should be launched but also to « learn by doing » using a reflective method which allows them to apply to other opportunities they might identify in the future. Participants will be introduced to model IoOp (« Innovation by Opportunity ») that is to be used in real time to structure the contents of this innovative project and reach an Opportunity Case which addresses essential questions on management and other stakeholders. Model IoOp, subject to this training, is a reflection method that helps developers to identify factors to key success and avoid obstacles.

Prof. Raphael Cohen, University of Geneva

8. Doing Business in Emerging Markets
To gain an understanding of the strategic and management challenges that firms are confronted with in the new global competition marked by the increasing participation of emerging economies and particularly the BRIC’s (Brazil, Russia, India, China.). Emerging markets offer opportunities because of their growth and the rapid expansion of a middle class. At the same time, new competitors native from those countries are expanding their presence, not only in their home markets, but also in the international arena. In this course we will try to characterize the specific features of those emerging countries and players, pinpointing their similarities and differences. We will then deal with strategic and managerial issues that are generic with particular applicability in one specific country.

Prof. Marc Laperrouzza, EPFL, University of Lausanne

9. Designing Development Projects
This course provides an overview of the international development landscape and how different approaches to delivering development assistance have evolved through time while combining theoretical knowledge with practical hands-on training.Using detailed case studies of existing and hypothetical projects, the course explores essential tools for planning and implementing development projects.

Dr. Taylor Brown & Karen Iles, the IDL Group in Development

10. Communication, Fundraising and Advocacy
What are the basics of communication processes? How to conceptualize, plan, execute and monitor a communication strategy? How to develop and establish appropriate strategic fundraising solutions? What can advocacy achieve? And how are all of these connected to each other?

Mr Gregor Henneka, UNICEF & Prof. Dr. Jurgen Seitz, Stuttgart Media University

11. Social Entrepreneurship
The course examines how social entrepreneurial ventures tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. How are they different from charitable non-profits or from mainstream businesses? What leadership role do they play in society? How does the context in which they are spawned influence the problems they address, their approaches, business models, and partnerships?

Prof. Harry Barkema, London School of Economics

12. Fundamentals of Finance and Accounting
The course is designed to expose students to the theory and practice of selecting and analyzing financial and managerial accounting information for decision-making, planning, directing and controlling purposes. It focuses on the understanding and questioning of accounting numbers and of underlying assumptions behind those numbers, and on the need to integrate accounting reports with nonfinancial performance measures and effective tools of analysis.

Antonio Vegezzi, Capital Italia Fund and Università della Svizzera Italiana

13. Global Strategy
This course aims to provide students with tools that aid decision-making in country analysis and international market entry. The International Market Entry Simulation will give you an opportunity to launch and manage products in a dynamic, growing, international market and expand your presence regionally.

Prof. Dr. Tina Ambos, University of Geneva