Colorado State University Case Study Wins Place in Global Business School Database

A case study of how a social business venture can grow to improve maternal health in developing countries has been selected for inclusion in the GlobaLens Base of the Pyramid Collection, part of the world’s largest database of business case studies used by top business schools around the world.

The team from the CSU College of Business – Asad Aziz, clinical professor of management; Yolanda Sarason, associate professor of entrepreneurship and strategic management; and Grace Hanley, MBA student – took third place in this year’s Next Billion Case Writing Competition.

Their study, “Ayzh at a Crossroad: Maternal Health for Whom?”, outlines the business decisions made to grow the for-profit Ayzh, launched by CSU Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA candidates Zubaida Bai and her husband, Habib. They developed the venture to manufacture a sterile birthing kit that not only reduces the risk of maternal death due to infections and complications following childbirth, but also provides jobs to impoverished women assembling and distributing the kits in India.

In addition to being published by GlobaLens, the case study’s authors received $1,000 in prize money.

“If we’ve learned one thing in the six years since launching the GSSE MBA, it’s that building scalable social ventures is hard work,” said Dan Ganster, Senior Associate Dean for Administration for the CSU College of Business. “We are approaching 50 ventures, many of which continue to move forward. Zubaida’s persistence has positioned Ayzh for significant growth and meaningful impact. We are pleased to share the lessons of that venture and our model through GlobaLens.”

This is the first case study from Colorado State authors to be published by GlobaLens, the publishing partner of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Its catalog features more than 450 cases, exercises and conceptual notes as well as entire courses and education modules in use at business schools worldwide, including Northwestern, Stanford, Yale, MIT and the London School of Business.

The 2013 Next Billion competition is also sponsored by the Citi Foundation, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan and Next Billion, an online resource for market-based approaches to poverty alleviation.

This was the third year for the Next Billion Case Writing Competition, which attracted the largest group of students and professors to date, with more than 150 entrants representing more than 50 universities and 11 countries. Other winning entries looked at ventures involved in microlending in Indonesia; providing safe water in Ghana; entrepreneurship in Guatemala; and mushroom production in Tanzania.

“Clearly there is widespread demand from professors and their students for rigorous case studies and research that pulls the curtain back on what it take to build and sustain a successful social enterprise,” according to Scott Anderson, managing editor of the Next Billion network.

For more information about the case writing competition, go to For more information about the Colorado State University College of Business, go to