Mendoza School of Business

Students tackle financial inclusion for annual DE&I case competition

Published: May 23, 2023 / Author: Brandi Wampler

Winners stand next to a large IRISH sign

Chiyedza Chinake (MNA ‘23) and Simba Mubvuma (MBA ‘24)

The second annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Grow the Good in Business Case Competition recently announced the winning teams for the 2023 competition, which challenged University of Notre Dame students to address the problem of financial inclusion. Hosted by the Mendoza College of Business, the case competition’s final presentations, judging and awards ceremony took place on Friday, April 21, 2023.

This year’s case asked competing teams to address financial inclusion by presenting solutions that increase access to and the quality of financial services in underserved markets. Winners were named for both undergraduate and graduate cohorts.

second place winners of the 2023 DEI case competition

Cleveland Sellers IV (BA ‘25) and Mateo Acosta (BA ‘25)

Team Tenga won first place in the graduate program division. Members Chiyedza Chinake (MNA ‘23) and Simba Mubvuma (MBA ‘24) proposed a solution that involves working with small, local businesses to increase access to bank accounts and reduce exposure to predatory lending. Their plan was to partner with 150 small businesses in 10 ZIP codes to empower 45,000 Native Americans, Black and Hispanic millennial women in Indiana to open a bank account, establish credit and eventually finance larger purchases by 2024.

The second place graduate team was KTM Consulting Partnership – Travis Williams (MSM ‘23) and Michael Williams (MSM ‘23) – and third place was Team YOUnique – Palm Luckom (MBA ‘23), Larissa Nogueira Hallack (MBA ‘23), Chaeyoung Gu (MBA ‘23) and Celeste Rodriguez (MBA ‘23).

The undergraduate student finalists came from all across campus to compete. First place went to CMG Consulting, which included Cleveland Sellers IV (BA ‘25) and Mateo Acosta (BA ‘25). CMG Consulting focused on creating a Mobile Financial Center to target unbanking rates and build community trust, to provide online financial education to increase financial literacy, and to partner with local credit unions to invest in social justice and improve minority-owned banks. Their goal was to reduce unbanked rates by 50 basis points in Indiana by 2025.

The second place undergraduate team was Team Rocket: Billy Micard (BA ‘24), Trey Lane (ND ‘24), Chase Dixon (ND ‘24) and Robert Fitzpatrick (ND ‘24). Third place was Coins for Care: Bernice Antoine (BA ‘26) and Luc Gelin (BA ‘25).

“This year, we saw truly outstanding pitches where students demonstrated not just the business acumen they’ve developed while in Mendoza, but also leadership, problem-solving and teamwork skills,” said Kristen Collett-Schmitt, associate dean for innovation and inclusion and associate teaching professor of Finance at Mendoza, who oversees the case competition. “It was an incredible experience for all of us, full of excitement, creativity and hard work, and the efforts of these students leave me confident that the future of business is in excellent hands.”

The case competition kicked off with an event on February 10 that introduced the case and related resources for competitors. Ninety-three students comprising 27 teams competed in two rounds of competition. Students submitted strategy memos in round one and an executive slide deck in round two. Three teams from each undergraduate and graduate cohort were selected to compete in the third round by delivering oral presentations to judges at the case competition’s final event.

Introductory remarks were given by Collett-Schmitt and Martin J. Gillen Dean Martijn Cremers. Travis C. Hunter Jr., office managing partner for KPMG’s Chicago office, and Joseph P. Lacher, Jr., President, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Kemper Corporation, provided keynote speeches while judges deliberated over the final presentations.

The judges panel included Associate Teaching Professor Amanda G. McKendree, Shelli Alexander of 1st Source Bank, CT Mobley of ADP, Becky Beckman of Gibson Insurance, Bethany Hartley of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, Jack O’Leary of the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion, Notre Dame’s Fencing Coach Guiorgie “Gia” Kvaratskhelia, and Christina Kaminski of KPMG.

The DEI Grow the Good in Business Case Competition was sponsored by Kemper, KPMG, the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership, ADP, 1st Source Bank, Gibson Insurance, the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, JIFFI, the Fanning Center for Business Communication, and Aperian Global.