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PhD graduate Fredrick Ogola wins 2012 AABS/Emerald Case Competition for a case study about an African woman who overcame poverty thanks to social entrepreneurship

Fredrick Ogola, has won the AABS/Emerald Case Competition 2012 for a case study that shows how Nigerian entrepreneur Nike Davies Okundaye, in spite of her setbacks, was able to overcome poverty by building a family social enterprise. The case study, entitled ‘Nike Davies-Okundaye: Building a family social enterprise’, was built thanks to the conceptual frameworks acquired during Mr Ogola’s PhD in Management Sciences at ESADE and the guidance of his thesis director, Pep Mària.

The case, which is being used as an example of case studies in ESADE’s classrooms, was put together in collaboration with co-authors Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, from Lagos Business School, and Gordon Adomdza, from Northeastern University in Boston.

“The protagonist of the case is Nike Davies-Okundaye, a social entrepreneur who manages the biggest art gallery in all of West Africa. She learned her profession as an apprentice to her grandmother and has expanded to such a level that she now runs an entire firm,” said Fredrick Ogola, who received his PhD in Management Sciences from ESADE Business School in April 2012.

Nike Davies-Okundaye developed a programme to train and empower women to be financially independent in the polygamous society in which she found herself. In the case, she is faced with the problem of succession as she ages, and she wonders whether her children will share her deep-rooted concern for helping the underprivileged, her main motivation for starting the social enterprise. “The case provides insights into a unique model of a hybrid family business and social enterprise, facing the challenges of leadership, succession and how to sustain a social mission,” said Mr Ogola.

“The results show that doing good can still lead to doing very well financially. It proves that creating social value can precede or go along with wealth creation as opposed to the common belief that amassing wealth should always come before doing good,” according to Ogola.

Contributing to the knowledge of entrepreneurship in Africa, and Nigeria in particular, the case study also provides valuable insights into indigenous training systems such as apprenticeships, which ensure that children grow up learning the skills that they will need in order to earn a living as adults, without depending on others for employment.

The authors of the winning case study will meet with Emerald representatives in Boston on 4th August for the official awards ceremony, which will take place at the Back Bay Social Club (867 Boylston Street) from 7 pm to 9 pm.

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