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IRENE I SEE research network

Social enterprises under the microscope

Research focus on social enterprises

IRENE I SEE explores issues around social economic empowerment based on concrete examples in the areas of economics and political science, sociology, and urban studies. Within the network, the research of six doctoral students at different universities is supported and supervised.

A strong focus is given to developing entrepreneurial solutions to social problems. Learn more below about the universities and the research projects of the doctoral students.

Find out more

EGADE Business School is the graduate business school of Monterrey Institute of Technology, with locations in Mexico City and Monterrey. The school educates managers with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, who are ethical, internationally competitive, and capable of creating and transforming enterprises and institutions that promote the economic and social development of their communities. The school has built a solid reputation based on its innovative educational model, the quality of its teaching, its research achievements, and the global business vision it gives graduates.

This recognition adds to distinctions that EGADE Business School has received for its outstanding performance. It was the first business school in Mexico to receive the prestigious “triple crown” status, the three labels of excellence from the world’s leading business school accreditation bodies: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS. EGADE Business School is part of a selected group consisting of 1 percent of all business schools in the world to have received the three accreditations.

Research project “Empowerment through Development: Integrating Low Income Sector in the Value Chain”

Mario Dávila and Prof. Gerardo Lozano
Mario Dávila and Prof. Gerardo Lozano

Mario Cesar Dávila Aguirre’s research seeks to identify the critical factors to economically and socially empower low-income producers and thereby enable them to integrate as suppliers within the value chain of multinational corporations. In recent times, efforts to reduce poverty levels have increased, but no significant changes have been achieved. Multinational corporations have been called on to develop goods and services for poor people - a market segment referred to as the “base of the pyramid” (BoP).

The alleged promise of a fortune at the bottom of the pyramid has grabbed the attention of both academics and practitioners. In the corporate world, many initiatives have emerged to serve the BoP segment. With few exceptions, however, it has been demonstrated that the alleged fortune at the bottom of the pyramid does not exist. Several researchers have argued that the real solution to alleviate or at least reduce the level of poverty is not to view poor people as customers, but rather to integrate them as suppliers in the value chain. Among some of the successful initiatives in Mexico to have integrated low-income suppliers in their value chain are Mexico’s Sigma Alimentos with its "Fomento Lechero" project, Danone with its "Margarita" program, and Starbucks with C.A.F.E. The purpose of this research is to identify the critical factors to economically and socially empower low-income producers and thereby enable them to integrate as suppliers within the value chain of MNC's. The research method is to analyze multiple-case studies.

Doctoral candidate Mario Dávila

Mario Dávila received a Master of Business Administration from EGADE Business School and bachelor’s degree from Universidad Tec Milenio. He has been pursuing a Ph.D. in business administration and management at EGADE Business School since January 2010. He has experience in accreditation processes and has served as a professor at Universidad Tec Milenio. There, he also taught basic algebra, analytic geometry, trigonometry, and differential calculus.

Mario Dávila received a Master of Business Administration from EGADE Business School and bachelor’s degree from Universidad Tec Milenio. He has been pursuing a Ph.D. in business administration and management at EGADE Business School since January 2010. He has experience in accreditation processes and has served as a professor at Universidad Tec Milenio. There, he also taught basic algebra, analytic geometry, trigonometry, and differential calculus.

Doctoral supervisor Prof. Gerardo Lozano

Gerardo Lozano received his doctoral degree in administration from ITESM, and received a postdoc position specialized in social enterprises at Harvard Business School. He has been a professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey since 1982 and in EGADE Business School since 1998. He has worked on providing services in the consultancy field in various companies in Mexico. He has conducted research on corporate social responsibility, marketing, and agribusiness. Lozano is director of the Social Enterprise Knowledge Network and the Inter-American Network of Corporate Social Responsibility in Mexico and is currently a consultant in the corporate social responsibility field for several companies.

Gerardo Lozano received his doctoral degree in administration from ITESM, and received a postdoc position specialized in social enterprises at Harvard Business School. He has been a professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey since 1982 and in EGADE Business School since 1998. He has worked on providing services in the consultancy field in various companies in Mexico. He has conducted research on corporate social responsibility, marketing, and agribusiness. Lozano is director of the Social Enterprise Knowledge Network and the Inter-American Network of Corporate Social Responsibility in Mexico and is currently a consultant in the corporate social responsibility field for several companies.