Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - AUI Team ranks first out of 4,000 applicants from 8 countries in GBI Project Feasibility Study Competition

AUI Team ranks first out of 4,000 applicants from 8 countries in GBI Project Feasibility Study Competition

Two of our SBA students, Kamar Hannaoui ('17) and El-Mehdi Iraqi ('16) won the Global Business Institute Project Feasibility Study Competition organized by Indiana University, the US Department of State and the Coca-Cola Company.


As the Indiana University website outlays, "more than 4000 students from the MENA region and other countries applying for the 100 program spots were given the opportunity to learn about business in the context of American culture. Through an accelerated 3.5-week curriculum based on the core elements of the Kelley School of Business undergraduate program, students were introduced to a wide variety of entrepreneurial venture opportunities." (Global Business Institute [GBI], 2014)


The project required the teams to develop and conduct a feasibility study of a business idea to launch in their home countries. Attributable to the prevalence of sexual harassment in public areas, growth of smartphone users and internet subscribers in Morocco (World Economic Forum), the team paired a device with a mobile application to make women feel securer: “Safer Streets Happier Women”.


The GPS bracelet is worn on the wrist and contains an HDI device button that connects to the client’s phone to send a help message containing GPS data to the client’s trusted list triggers an alarm to alert the entourage, contacts family and authorities and sends GPS data to individuals present in a definite perimeter.


Their typical customer segment is women between 18 and 30 years with NGOs and local police department as their key partners.


The product comes in three different styles: regular (daily life), chic (work) and glamorous (festivities). The basic bracelet is affordable at $65 for the whole product including the application, rendering it a relatively moderated priced product in the market. Their venture culminated in a case competition style presentation of 15 minutes with 10 minutes of question and answer from a panel of judges in the US department of Peace. In Iraqi’s words, "We represented our dear university, Al Akhawayn, our country Morocco, and all the people who have trusted our project idea which is about setting up a smart device to get rid of sexual harassment." (2014)


We look forward to seeing where our students’ interest in business takes them in the future.