BeeBank & Brokerage won the Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge and finished second among 126 teams in the Climate Investing Challenge
An award-winning team including Oxford MBA students believe a financial model they’ve developed could help ensure farmers’ needs for pollinating bees continue to be met worldwide.
BeeBank & Brokerage looks to close any financial gaps for beekeepers to ensure they can afford to keep providing bees to pollinate farmers' crops across the globe.
Pollination is a crucial part of growing the fruit and crops we eat, with a third of the total volume of the world’s agricultural produce, from fruit to coffee beans, relying on it.
BeeBank & Brokerage’s model looks to broker contracts, offer working capital, and provide resources for beekeepers to continue to provide farmers with the healthy bees they need.
The team comprises Oxford MBA students Dawn Musil, a Scholar with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, and Noah Law, an investment banker.
They are working with Annabella Wainer, studying a PhD at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment; and Emilė Radyte, studying a PhD at the Medical Research Council Brain Network Dynamics Unit. All are part of Christ Church college.
Their proposal won the Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge and finished second among 126 teams in the Climate Investment Challenge, run by Imperial College London and Standard Chartered Bank.
'Closing the financial gap'
Dawn Musil said:
‘We are looking to close the financing gap for beekeepers to be able to scale and meet the growing needs of farmers for sufficient pollination.
In turn this helps ensure global food security, by increasing crop yields.
‘That then helps to mitigate climate change and boost sustainable agricultural practices.’
The team is benefiting from advisors and sponsors including Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered Bank.
It aims to launch BeeBank & Brokerage as a pilot in the US before the end of the year.
'Building on our experience'
Speaking about how she and Noah had benefited through their Oxford MBA, Dawn added:
‘We have been spending weekends and evenings putting this project together, validating the process, and working to form a firm foundation.
It has been an incredible chance to build upon both our experience, our coursework across Impact Investing, and mentorship from professors such as Richard Barker, Professor of Accounting.’
‘Our strength as a team has been in our interdisciplinary skillset, as we come from financial, agricultural technology, public health, and sustainability practice backgrounds, with a shared interest in making the future more sustainable.’
He said the team was motivated to enter the Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge to suggest a ‘feasible, scalable, and replicable model’ to address food system issues around ‘pollinator loss’.
Richard Barker, Professor of Accounting and Associate Dean of Faculty, said:
‘I am proud and delighted by the success Dawn and Noah have enjoyed through their team’s BeeBank & Brokerage model.
It is an excellent example of how candidates can take the range of skills they’re learning on the programme and utilise them for the benefit of society.
It has been fantastic to see the dedication they have put in to creating the model and I will watch its progress with interest.’