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Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge 2020 for International Graduate Students

Every year, the Kellogg School of Management and Morgan Stanley partner to host the challenge where teams of graduate students from around the globe develop and pitch creative financial approaches to tackle our world’s most pressing challenges.

Application Deadline: 20th February, 2020

Offered annually? Yes

Eligible Countries: Any

To be taken at (country): Teams will be funded to London UK and Los Angeles, USA.

About the Award: The Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable investing Challenge harnesses the power of capital markets and student creativity to create positive impact in a world of perpetual resource scarcity and continued population growth.

The Challenge: Devise a Novel Financial Instrument to Positively Impact the World

This competition requires you to propose and defend a sustainable impact investment strategy that uses finance and investment tools to create an innovative solution to an environmental or societal challenge. Integral to this competition are first, that you are creating a financial vehicle, and second, that your financial vehicle will have social impact.

Contestants must propose and defend a strategy that uses finance and investment tools rather than an operating enterprise to address an environmental or societal challenge. The competition is an opportunity to apply core finance principles to target the economic, social and environmental challenges that drive the field of sustainable investing.

In addition to our broader call for proposals inviting creative financial approaches to social and environmental issues, the 2020 Sustainable Investing Challenge is encouraging concepts that target plastic waste. This new-for-2020 opportunity is in keeping with Morgan Stanley’s Plastic Waste Resolution and commitment to facilitating the prevention, reduction and removal of 50 million metrics tons of plastic waste from entering rivers, oceans, landscapes and landfills by 2030. Proposals that address the issue of plastic waste will be eligible for an additional prize of $5,000 in addition to eligibility for the annual top and runner-up prizes for the overall competition.

Type: Contest


  • Graduate students from around the world are invited to participate in the Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge.
  • Teams are limited to a maximum of four members, all of whom must be enrolled in a graduate program at the time of the prospectus submission, and the team cannot include more than one member who is pursuing an Executive MBA.
  • A team may include members from different graduate schools. All ideas must be the original ideas of the team members.
  • Each team is required to submit a two-page prospectus outlining their proposal.
  • From the submitted prospectuses, ten teams will be selected to present at the finals competition. At least one team member should be available to present at the finals competition, if the team is chosen to advance to that round, and all team members attending the finals competition should plan to stay for the entire event.
  • Please note that any team member not in attendance at the finals competition will not share in any prizes awarded to that team.

Judging Criteria: The following criteria are applicable to both the first and final rounds of the competition:

  1. Creativity & Financial Innovation (25%)
  2. Impact and scale (25%)
  3. Feasibility (25%)
  4. Quality of due diligence and financials (20%)
  5. Presentation (5%)

Value of Contest: $15,000 in prizes will be awarded to the winning teams. Awards will be made for the overall quality of the proposals based on the judging criteria.

  • Overall First Place:  $10,000
  • Overall Runner-Up:  $5,000

How to Apply:  

It is important to properly go through the Contest Webpage before applying.

Visit Contest Webpage for details

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