Electric Bras and Panic Buttons Won't Solve India's Rape Crisis

Author: Nilima Achwal

Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University - MBA Case Studies

Stripe: Helping Money Move on the Internet

Authors: Sarit Markovich; Nilima Achwal

Topic: Financial Technology, USA


Patrick and John Collison created the financial technology firm Stripe in 2011 to help startups process online payments. Prior to Stripe’s existence, small companies had to engage with multiple providers in order to offer an online purchasing option with shopping cart functionality on their websites. With Stripe, the process became much easier. Stripe provided small merchants with all the software and integrations necessary to make their websites ready to accept online payments and reduced the amount of time it took startups to get set up, from several days or weeks to minutes.

By 2016, Stripe had raised $400 million in venture capital investments from prominent sources such as Sequoia Capital, Visa, American Express, Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk, and it processed an estimated $20 billion annually for more than 100,000 merchants in twenty-five countries. Still, the founders knew that they were barely reaching 1 percent of the total market of digital transactions globally and that their profitability depended on scale. Stripe could consider two major growth strategies: entering new geographical markets, targeting larger merchants in the United States for more volume, or perhaps a combination of both.

Kueski: Revolutionizing Consumer Credit in Mexico

Authors: Sarit Markovich; Nilima Achwal

Topic: Financial Technology, Lending, Mexico


Kueski was one of the first companies to develop a proprietary algorithm for online loan approval, much like a credit score. In Mexico, there were private credit bureaus that tracked the repayment history of bank loans, but before Kueski no one had mastered gauging the creditworthiness of an individual who had never before accessed a bank loan. This made it difficult for many Mexicans to get approved for a loan or credit card, particularly young people with no credit history, or the enormous segment of Mexico’s population who worked in the informal economy.

As the company grew, Flores wondered if it would be wise to partner with Mexican banks, which had begun noticing Kueski’s success. Although the Mexican public did not particularly trust banks, banks still held the largest customer networks. They also had a sophisticated understanding of Mexico’s strict financial regulations, which would be useful to Flores. Determining the best way to build a relationship with traditional banking institutions was complex, and he wanted to identify the risks that such partnerships could pose for his company.

M-Changa: Leveraging Kenya’s Mobile Money Market for Community Fundraising

Authors: Sarit Markovich; Nilima Achwal

Topic: Financial Technology, Africa


M-Changa was one of the fastest-growing fundraising platforms in Kenya, allowing Kenyans to use text messages on their mobile phones to send, receive, and track donated funds as well as solicit donations from family and friends. The young cofounders, Kyai Mullei and David Mark, had grown the company quickly by leveraging partnerships with large banks, mobile money operators, and NGOs. By April 2015, M-Changa had a team of five people serving 25,000 users. Now, it stood at a crossroads. M-Changa’s board members had expressed concern that its multitude of partnerships may have spread the company too thin. The board urged Mullei and Mark to focus on the partnerships that would reap the most value for the company in the long run. Should M-Changa pursue partnerships with mobile money operators and banks that made it possible for users to transfer money conveniently and at a low cost, or instead focus on partners that allowed M-Changa to test new customer segments and increase sales? In addition, there was an estimated US$7 billion fundraising market across East Africa, so Mullei was tempted to test neighboring markets. Students will step into the shoes of Kyai Mullei as he and his team refine their partnership strategy at a crucial point in time for the venture.


Firestone Liberia's Battle against Ebola

Authors: Timothy Feddersen; Nilima Achwal

Topic: Crisis Management, Social Responsibility, Africa


This case puts students in the shoes of the Ebola response leadership teams of Firestone Liberia and its parent company, Bridgestone Americas, as they worked together to respond to the deadly 2014 Ebola epidemic. While the companies had received positive press for their containment of the virus on their rubber farm in Liberia, which was home to 8,000 employees and 80,000 Liberian citizens, the situation off the property was worsening. With death counts rising and hospitals across the nation closing as staff caught the virus, the Liberian government declared a national state of emergency. The teams now faced the possibility that the government might attempt to take control of the farm's medical center. How could they balance their duty to care effectively for employees against the demands of the Liberian government? Should they try to fend off the government or cooperate to meet the government's demands? Students will learn how to do a methodical situation analysis that considers ethical obligations and strategic implications, and to distill their recommendation into a briefing for senior leadership.


Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - MBA and BBA Case Studies

Social Impact

SMART: Global Urban Mobility Solutions

Authors: Nigel Melville, Nilima Achwal

Topic: Urban Mobility and Transportation, Innovation, Sustainability

Note on the Global Middle Class 

Authors: Robert E. KennedyAneel Karnani, Nilima Achwal

Topic: Emerging Markets, Consumer Behavior

LifeSpring Hospitals

Authors: Aneel Karnani, Nilima Achwal

Topic: Healthcare, Social Enterprise, India

Women Entrepreneurs in Rwanda: Loans for the Lumberyard

Authors: Etienne Musonera and Nilima Achwal

Topic: SME, Africa, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women

Women Entrepreneurs in Rwanda: Banana Wine by Coproviba

Authors: Etienne Musonera and Nilima Achwal

Topic: SME, Africa, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women

Note on Corporate Social Responsibility: A Debate

AuthorsAneel KarnaniPietra RivoliSandra Waddock, Nilima Achwal

Topic:  CSR


Media and Technology

Marvel Comics: From Stan Lee to Mickey

Authors: Scott Moore, Nilima Achwal

Topic: Media, Publishing, Business Stress






Pricing Games: Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox

Authors: Valerie Y. SuslowFrancine Lafontaine, Nilima Achwal

Topic: Prisoners' Dilemma, Economics

Industry Competition

Note on the Decline of the “Big Three” U.S. Auto Producers

Authors: Robert E. Kennedy, Nilima Achwal

Topic: Leadership, Strategy

Supply Chain

Kellogg's Cereal Production Process

Authors: Izak Duenyas, Nilima Achwal

Topic: Supply Chain, Operations

Villgro Innovations Foundation - Social Enterprise Case Studies

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Chief Editor: Nilima Achwal

NextBillion Case Writing Competition - Social Enterprise Case Studies

See winning cases.

Founder of Competition, Chief Editor: Nilima Achwal

NextBillion - Social Innovation Forum and Blog

See blog posts.

Author: Nilima Achwal