Skip to main content

Meet the SEMBA Net Impact chapter. 

The SEMBA Net Impact chapter is a hybrid chapter at the University of Vermont, Grossman School of Business, focused on bringing together current students, alumni, and community members in an effort to mobilize awareness and action on sustainability. SEMBA, which stands for Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA, is an accredited one year program that was recently recognized as the 10th best MBA program in the world.

What makes this chapter stand out is their unique programming that equips their members with the skills and connections to drive impact now and throughout their careers. “Our chapter programming falls under three main categories: skill development, alumni relationships, and building collaborative networks with the community and other academic departments,” says Michael Rama, the Vice-President of the chapter. 

The chapter, established earlier this year, has already hosted a handful of programs, including the Net Impact Presents Series and a Pitch Event. For the Pitch Event, the SEMBA chapter organized an event with Milk Money founders, Janice Shade and Louisa Schibli. Milk Money, a VT based equity crowd funding company, invited entrepreneurs supported by the investment fund to pitch their businesses to University of Vermont students, faculty, and staff. 

“We hosted local businesses and each company gave a 5-minute pitch with 10 minutes for Q&A and feedback. Think “Shark Tank” for impact investing,” Michael explains. A large crowd gathered to hear from the members of Burlington Herb Clinic, Kingdom Fiber, Working Fields, Green Mountain Organic present their pitches. 

“Net Impact empowers student-led initiatives that express our passion for sustainability beyond the SEMBA classroom and tailor our efforts accordingly. This year we wanted to collaborate more with professionals in the community outside of our existing SEMBA network which prompted us to connect with Janice and Louisa to bring in the entrepreneurs from Milk Money for the pitch event,” says the SEMBA Net Impact chapter President, Margaret Arzon.

SEMBA’s Net Impact Presents Series is a series of workshops led by current SEMBA students and local business professionals. “These workshops act as an additional outlet for students to learn and engage others in areas of their own interest and background,” says Michael. “Our vision is to hold a bi-weekly workshop geared towards all members of the university and community to initiate local, domestic and international awareness and action.” 

Workshop topics have included: China’s Emerging Environmental Consciousness, Clean Water, Personal Finance, Clean Birth Kits in Developing Economies, Fostering Creativity, and Intellectual Property. 

And they are not stopping there. Future planned events include a Net Impact Presents: Gender Bias workshop and a Design Thinking Workshop with Environmental Science Graduate Students.

Do you want to see your chapter featured? Be sure to post to the Event Calendar and send us content, which will also help your chapter achieve Gold status!

The SEMBA Net Impact chapter held a pitch event described as a "Shark Tank for impact investing."