Week 7 – Partnerships


Partners in our Venture:

  1. World Hope
    1. We worked at World Hope and with their staff.
    2. They helped us because they provided us with workspace and connections in Sierra Leone. We helped them too because we expanded their reputation by involving them and tying them to our research.
    3. We should continue to participate in important projects so that we can continue our relationship with them.
  2. Betteh Bakery
    1. They allowed us to use their spaces for baking the muffins and roasting the sweet potatoes
    2. We helped them develop their business model and they gave us access to resources we needed. We attempted to make it an equal relationship but there were some kinks that we needed to work out.
    3. It would have been a stronger relationship if they were further along in their business and we were able to fully rely on them for the things that they said we could rely on them for. 
  3. Wesleyan Church
    1. We were able to establish this partnership through our relationship with the Betteh Bakery. Betteh Bakery is owned by the Wesleyan Church.
    2. They allowed us to use their church as a platform to administer our questionnaires. They provided us with tables, chairs, and volunteers who helped us effectively gather data. We helped the church by helping them with their core goal: helping the people of Sierra Leone.
    3. To strengthen this relationship, we should be sure to keep communications strong even when we are not in Sierra Leone.
  4. Allieu Bangura, Director of Nutrition at World Hope International
    1. Partnered to help us drive our project ideas, connect us with Director of Food & Nutrition, and to give us general guidance in the first stages of our project
      1. Introducing nutritious product for them
    2. More communication
  5. Clinics/CHOs
    1. Our partnership with clinics and CHOs allowed us to gather data from mothers and children.
    2. The clinics allowed us to come and receive data from mothers and children. The mothers and children got to taste our food.
    3. This relationship was very beneficial. In order to make it more equitable and stronger we would need to bring enough food for everyone.
  6. University of Freetown
    1. Students from the university who interned at World Hope were able to help us with whatever we needed for our project.
    2. We gave their students real life experience in their fields that they were interested in and they helped us further our project. We worked together nicely but it was not necessarily equitable; we are students in charge of other students. 
    3. This partnership would have been strengthened if we were positioned closer locationally 
  7. College of Engineering (funding partner)
    1. The college of engineering gave us funding to conduct our research in SL this summer.
    2. To strengthen this relationship we can write a publication to bring publicity to the university and the college.
  8. GELH (funding partner)
    1. GELH funded $1000 for each of us to travel to Sierra Leone.
    2. GELH helped us by making it financially feasible for us to go. We help them because we are giving them a good reputation and helping them contribute.
    3. It will be a stronger relationship after we do the GELH presentation at the end of October; they will know exactly what we did and how they helped us.
  9. Creative Inquiry Dept
    1. The Creative Inquiry Department gave us funding for in country expenses 
    2. We gave them publicity for the project by coming back and producing projects
    3. We can make the relationship better by continuing to advocate and recruit new GSIF members 
  10. Health Ministry of Sierra Leone
    1. Aminata Shamit Koroma- the Director of Food and Nutrition at the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone is the originator of the project
    2. We would like general/official approval of our products from the Ministry of Health. If we hope to distribute our product in hospitals in the future, we will need a strong relationship with the Ministry of Health in order to gain necessary approvals as well. 
    3. This partnership still needs to be established in order to see how each of us can benefit one another, but we could help the Ministry of Health by expanding the number of affordable foods that can be used to fight malnutrition and stunting. 
  11. Translators
    1. World Hope employee (Jawara) helped us connect with them and establish a partnership
    2. They helped us to effectively communicate and administer our questionnaires to the Sierra Leonean people. We compensated them for their work and time.
    3. To strengthen this relationship, we must keep in touch with the translators so that we can use them in upcoming years.



Ultimate Outcome that we want to see:

  • Elimination or minimization of micronutrient deficiencies/malnutrition in children in Sierra Leone.   


How to build a larger movement to get to this cause?

  • Build a coalition 
    • Diverse group of individuals and organizations who work together to reach a common goal



Ultimate Goal: Elimination or minimization of micronutrient deficiencies/malnutrition in children in Sierra Leone.  

Name: NewTrition Coalition 


  • Sierra Leone President
    • Why the relationship is critical: approval of the products and support for marketing and distribution purpose
  • Sierra Leone Honorables
    • Why the relationship is critical: support for marketing and distribution purpose
  • Director of Food & Nutrition, Aminata Shamit Koroma
    • Why the relationship is critical: brains behind the project, so we would like her approval of the products we create
  • Ministry of Health and Sanitation
    • Why the relationship is critical: potentially need to approve the products we create in the future
  • WHI
    • Why the relationship is critical: help us build relationships with officials, companies, and mothers in Sierra Leone and give us credibility; can help us secure funding and approvals


How will these organizations help us get these products

  • Each of these organizations will give our venture credibility when applying to different grants and publications. They will also boost our marketing and business plans because we will gain the trust of our customers.

What do they partners gain from being a part of the coalition

  • Each partner can benefit from being part of a social venture. Everyone wants to see a reduction in the number of malnourished children in SL.

Week 6- Malnutrition Team Collaborative Plan


Team Name: Malnutrition (NEWtrition)   Date: 10/6/19 
Goals Personal Goals (small g)

  1. Neena – To contribute in any and every way possible so that we are able to advance our project forward to achieve the goal i have always had coming into this project: to help children become healthier. Personally, I hope to become a better teammate and learn better communication and leadership skills that can help me attain this goal.
  2. Kayla – I want to help with the project to see it pick off the ground. My goal is to find ways to preserve the muffins so that our shelf-life can be extended and I want to set up the process in laying the ground work for clinical trials. It is important to me that I also have the ability to grow in my role in this project as we are losing some team members and I want to learn from them as well. It’s important to me that we remain one team and connected like we were in Sierra Leone.
  3. Karli – I hope to bring my unique background as an Economics major to our team to ensure that the business side is realistic. I have gained a lot of passion for this project, especially after seeing the impact that it will have on families in Sierra Leone. For this reason, I want to make sure that we will be able to execute our project in a cost effective, and smart way.
  4. Chris – My goals align with the development of the project’s products. I plan to continue the development of our recipes and the supply chain management to match it. I will also be focused on gathering grant funding for the project to do nutrition research and fund my trip there next year. 
  5. Seanna – My goals for this semester are to have a successful GHTC conference and for us to draft papers that explain our fieldwork experience. I also hope that we are able to define both recipes and develop successful business and marketing plans in order to take the next steps for our products.
  6. Rachel – Moving into this semester, my main goal in the beginning will be to research how we can preserve our pudding recipe through possible use of antioxidants/preservatives or through packing mechanisms, this way the product is more accessible for families.  After that I am hoping to help collaborate with the rest of my team to make a publishable paper of sorts on our research for a journal potentially. In general, I am want to keep our team close knit working as one entity and start ‘passing the baton’ to new members to forward the project.
  7. Matt – Over the next few weeks, I am hoping to analyze our research and use the data we gathered this summer to move forward. I would really like to publish a paper and apply for any grants that are available. Technically, I would like to determine the appropriate packaging to prevent the pudding from spoiling.

Project GOAL (big G) – Create sustainable and effective change for the children of Sierra Leone through providing them with a healthy, nutrient-dense, easily accessible, and cost affordable muffin and pudding.

  • Scaling to resources 
    • We got a much better sense of what resources would be available to us in Sierra Leone and what a realistic cost for those products would be. These are things that we will implement in our product going forward this semester
    • In Sierra Leone, we also learned to optimize how we use our biggest resources: our team members. We learned that by divvying up roles and responsibilities we work together better and get more done.
    • Once we know what our budget will be, and understand what grants will help fund us, we will know how to make sure we optimize these resources
  • Scaling to constraints
    • We do have limited time especially because there are deadlines for submitting papers to be published
    • Switch over of team members
  • Our metrics for success
    • Business success
      • How many people are producing / selling our product?
      • Are people making more money?
      • How many children are our products actually reaching?
      • Is NEWtrition sustainable (eventually)?
    • Improving health: Our hope is that the malnutrition rate among children in Sierra Leone will eventually decrease in response to our product
      • What is the malnutrition rate for children in Sierra Leone?
Roles Deliverables Responsibilities
Every team member was assigned to focus on one part of the data, and we will use each of our findings to write a paper and really understand our product and its capabilities in Sierra Leone.

  • Neena – microbial testing in muffin, nutrient testing in muffin, shelf life testing in muffin
  • Kayla – preservative use in muffin, clinical studies for both products, liaison to WHI and other SL organizations for mufin
  • Karli – supply chain and marketing plan for both products, 
  • Chris – muffin recipe improvement, grants for both products
  • Seanna – pudding recipe improvement, nutrient testing in pudding, liaison to WHI and other SL organizations for pudding
  • Rachel – antioxidant use in the pudding, preservative use in pudding
  • Matt – shelf life testing in pudding, packaging for pudding

Project Manager – At this point in the project, we have not decided on a project manager. At the end of this semester, we will need to decide on new project leaders because Chris and Seanna will be graduating.

Procedures Decision Making Procedure – We will communicate and voice opinions and ideas about a certain decision all together. We will try to work towards a consensus at first. If there is a large divide and a consensus does not seem possible, we will make a majority rules type of decision.

How we will have effective meetings – We will come into meetings with a clear sense of what we want to accomplish in that time. Decisions are best made in person when we are all together so we must make use of our time together to talk about bigger decisions and next steps. We will follow up on shared documents online and keep records of all discussions in meetings so that everyone has access to all the information. Kayla is officially our meeting scribe. Neena will be the facilitator and the time keeper.


  • We have a shared google drive in which we all have access to documents from each meeting, resources from SL, and all of our data
  • We know that from week to week, each member’s schedule varies greatly and therefore we have found out that coordinating a meeting time in the beginning of each week for that specific week is the best way for us to all meet up.
Relationships Although we do not have much diversity in majors within our group (6/7 of us are bioengineers), we do have Karli who will be very helpful with the more business-oriented aspects of the products. However, we are diverse in ages. We range from sophomores to seniors and have different perspectives because of it.

Our team name is NEWtrition. We want to create a new type of nutrition in Sierra Leone. We are creative and want to use our skills to make children healthier through our social venture. 


Case Study 04- Neem Trees

Part 1: Ethical Decision-Making


Facts of the Situation:

  • Neem is a sacred, indigenous tree to India
  • Neem has been used for medicinal purposes, food production, toiletries, fuel, and pesticides
  • Chetan operates a business of neem products and employs 60 people
  • Tom Johnson is the Director of Oregon Organic Pesticide Services
  • Tom travelled to India on vacation and discovered the neem seeds’ use as a potent pesticide
  • Tom imported neem seeds to his factory in the USA and developed a formula for an organic pesticide from the seeds
  • Tom’s company invested $5 million to conduct extensive safety and performance tests over the next decade
  • Tom’s company got security clearances from the EPA and got a patent for the pesticide. He made a profit of $12.5 million in a year.
  • OOPS, Tom’s company can sell the products at a lower price than Chetan, and people are likely to prefer products from American companies than Indian companies 
  • Tom demands a royalty from Chetan as a result of his patent.


Stakeholders and Motivations:

  • Chetan
    • Successful business of neem tree products that produces pesticides, skin creams, contraceptives, lamp oil, and more
    • Be loyal to customers and employees
  • Oregon Organic Pesticide Services (OOPS) 
    • Want people to buy the pesticide from them and make a profit
    • Put and patent on the pesticide and want it to be adhered to
    • Want healthy, organic pesticides
  • Tom
    • Social impact
    • Make money
    • Tap into the neem market in India
  • EPA- Environmental Protection Agency
    • Ensure public health, safety, and well-being
    • Avoid environmental consequences from the use of pesticides
  • Consumers
    • Want to be able to purchase neem products for the same cost or a lower cost with the same benefits
    • Want to support either themselves, their friends, or family who are working for Chetan
  • Farmers
    • Want crops that have good harvest
    • Want to use pesticides that do not harm their products or their customers
  • Indian government (secondary stakeholder)
    • Improve the local economy
    • Protect Indian business owners
    • Preserve the use neem trees


What rights does Chetan have and is it ethical for the US company to uphold their patent rights?

  • Because Tom/OOPS was issued a patent on the pesticide, Tom technically does not have the right to sell the neem pesticide as well. He is allowed to sell his other products such as the creams, contraceptives, and lamp oil because they are not restricted under the patent. Tom’s patent is only on the pesticide formula, so Chetan would only need to pay royalties on the pesticide. With that being said, Chetan could try to fight the patent because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled that products of nature are unpatentable [1]. Therefore, Chetan should have the right to compete with Tom for neem pesticide business. 
  • With that being said, until Chetan fights the patent, it is ethical for OOPS to uphold the rights of their worldwide patent. Patents give companies “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” products [2]. So while it is not exactly fair for Chetan to have his business restricted, it is more ethical for him to adhere to the patent than to not. He can focus more on his other neem products if he is unable to sell the pesticide. Therefore, we do not have any alternative solutions to present for this portion of the case studies because Tom is within his rights under the patent. Additionally, Harvard Business Review gives three guiding principles for companies working abroad- respect for core human values, respect for local traditions, and belief that context matters when deciding what is right and wrong [3]. In this case, Tom/OOPS are respecting local traditions by continuing to use the neem products and using it in a cheaper and healthier way.


[1] https://jolt.law.harvard.edu/assets/articlePDFs/v30/30HarvJLTech569.pdf

[2] https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/general-information-concerning-patents

[3] https://hbr.org/1996/09/values-in-tension-ethics-away-from-home


Implications on the venture:

  • The environment and people’s health will likely improve because an organic pesticide will be used
  • OOPS is well respected because they chose to partner with another company that improves the livelihood of workers in the Indian cottage industries. 
  • Chetan is able to continue with part of his business, but will likely lose success from the patent.


Part 2: Grassroots Diplomacy


Facts of the Situation:

  • 6 months later, OOPs had developed 20 different neem-based products being sold in India
  • Their most successful product is neem-based soap
  • The soap’s wrapper features a photo of Tim Johnson 
  • Chetan also has a soap product that features a photo of his great grandfather, a local legend
  • Chetan and Tom have met several times, and Tom is willing to collaborate
  • Chetan’s business is suffering and he will most likely have to lay off half of his staff
  • Half of Chetan’s staff feels cheated and the other half is confident he will find a way out. Chetan feels loyal to the staff that have worked with him for many years


Stakeholders and Motivations: 

  • Chetan
    • Personal
      • Continue to make money
      • Maintain his successful family business of seven generations
    • Professional
      • Protect his employees’ jobs and livelihood
      • Successful business and products
  • Tom/OOPS
    • Personal
      • Make money off the neem products
    • Professional
      • Expand OOPS’s business
      • Stay on top of the Indian market
      • Continue to make successful neem products 
  • Chetan’s employees
    • Personal
      • Loyalty to Chetan and his family business
      • Continue the legacy and reputation that the business has earned over the past few decades
    • Professional
      • Make money and support their families


Chetan’s potential next steps:

  1. Form a collaboration where Tom is in charge in production and Chetan is the supplier
    1. Pros
      1. Take advantage of OOPS’s economies of scale
      2. Takes advantage of Chetan’s local connection 
      3. Employees can keep their jobs- because Chetan’s company would need to expand to take on OOPS’s share of the market employees could take on new roles if needed
      4. Chetan still would have a role in the company and continue his family’s legacy 
    2. Cons 
      1. OOPS still has the power because of the patent so they have leverage in this scenario
      2. People that prefer Chetan’s product will have to get used to the American/OOPS formulations
    3. Saving face
      1. Chetan saves face with his employees because can keep a good relationship with the majority of them
      2. Chetan saves face with Tom/OOPS by not competing and being willing to collaborate
      3. Tom shows good faith by working with Chetan and the people of India because his business can be successful even without Chetan
    4. Implications on Relationships
      1. Short term: mutually beneficial relationship for the two companies, saves the relationship between Chetan and the majority of his employees
      2. Long term: good relationships with customers continues because they are still getting quality neem products
    5. Implications on the Venture
      1. Short term: Tom can continue to build his own company and Chetan can continue working for his company and provide employment to his friends
      2. Long term: Chetan is able to continue his family company’s legacy
  2. Merge with OOPS and hire some of his local employees
    1. Pros: 
      1. Keeps some of his people employed
      2. OOPS will get Chetan’s loyal customers and make more money
      3. OOPS has a good reputation because it is an American business with personal ties in India
      4. Forces out some competition
    2. Cons
      1. Chetan will lose some of the history of his company
      2. Probably cannot hire all of Chetan’s employees
    3. Saving face: Chetan saves face with the employees that he saves jobs for
    4. Implications of relationships:
      1. Short term: Chetan’s employees may feel like they are being betrayed by Chetan working with an American company, employees that can keep a job will be mostly happy with Chetan’s decision, but they will likely feel bad for anyone that needs to lose their job, employees who need to lose their jobs/be laid off will be angry, customers may have some initial issues as a result of the merger
      2. Long term: employees who he keeps will most likely feel better about the decision because they are still making money, customers may 
    5. Implications on venture:
      1. Short term: Chetan will be absorbed by OOPS
      2. Long term: The collaboration will have a larger market share, Chetan and local people will still be working for the company
  3. Strike a deal so that they sell Tom’s neem products with the image of Chetan’s great grandfather in exchange for the employment of Chetan’s workers
    1. Pros
      1. Chetan’s employees keep their jobs
      2. Consumers get EPA-approved, organic products that are sold with the approval/image of Chetan’s company
      3. OOPS can keep its control over the market of neem products while connecting with Chetan’s customers
      4. The legacy of Chetan’s great grandfather is continued
    2. Cons 
      1. While the image of Chetan’s business is continued, his products/recipes would be discontinued to use OOPS’s products instead
      2. Not all of Chetan’s employees would likely be able to keep their jobs
      3. Customers who are unaware of Chetan and OOPS’s relationship may be unaware that they are buying new products
    3. Saving face
      1. Customers can continue to buy neem products that Chetan’s family approves of, Chetan strikes the deal for the sake of his employees’ livelihoods
    4. Implications on Relationships
      1. Short term: employees may not want to work at a new company, Chetan and Tom can avoid competition by forming this collaboration
      2. Long term: customers value American products and with the approval of Chetan’s family on the package it could be even more valuable
    5. Implications on the Venture
      1. Short term: Chetan’s business would no longer be his own, but his great grandfather’s legacy could still continue, many of Chetan’s employees could potentially keep their jobs
      2. Long term: customers will want to buy the American neem products, and because OOPS has more resources than Chetan’s business, they will be able to keep the company successful


Best Solution: Form a collaboration where Tom is in charge in production and Chetan is the supplier

This solution is the best case scenario for Chetan because his family’s business can continue to grow and his employees will be kept happy with new opportunities and more work on their hands. He will also be able to take advantage of OOPS resources and have economies of scale because of their increased share of the market. Chetan will be able to keep his connections with the local communities. He will save face with his employees by staying loyal to them and save face with OOPS because of the opportunities that come to both companies through the collaboration. By losing control of the production of the products, they may lose some of the authenticity or qualities of Chetan’s products, but Tom and Chetan could potentially renegotiate recipes to ensure that they are still organic but more similar to Chetan’s products. 

  • Implementation:
    • Strike a deal with Tom/OOPS that delegates which responsibilities each side of the company is responsible for, which recipes will be used, and the profit split
    • Figure out if any employees will need to change roles in the company
    • OOPS uses their resources to produce neem products at a lower cost
    • Chetan and his employees distribute the products to leverage their local connections