MBA Students Team Up to Consult Mission Driven Dog Treat Shop, MV Barkery

Social Impact MBA team members Sally Wynn, Lorrin Van Evra, Marek Michalak, and Jessie Ralph delivered a strategic recommendation for MV Barkery, a social impact business selling homemade dog treats on Martha’s Vineyard, as part of the Action Learning project for their Strategy Implementation course.

Marek Michalak’24 says, “This project resonated deeply with my social impact aspirations.” MV Barkery, operating out of owner and Questrom MBA alumna Edie Prescott’s home, employs her son with autism, Henry Prescott, dog treat baking and decorating extraordinaire, who will age out of the American school system in May of 2024. Edie’s dream is to one day have a bakery storefront that employs neurodiverse adults, with the long-term vision to replicate the Martha’s Vineyard success model and franchise MV Barkery to other US markets. The mission is to employ the staggeringly high numbers of unemployed or under-employed neurodiverse adults in our communities, starting with Edie’s son – Henry.

From left to right: Sally Wynn, Marek Michalak, Henry Prescott, Edie Prescott, Jessie Ralph, and Lorrin Van Evra.

 

“In the context of social impact organizations, the challenges highlighted specifically in the action learning project included limited resource allocation, organizational structure and potential forms of the way a social impact business can be organized, the necessity to stay adaptable to change, and the various forms of help available to the owner, depending on the business form she chooses (i.e. grants vs. crowdfunding). Most importantly, it highlighted an utterly important issue – how to achieve and measure the social impact KPI’s, and at the same time stay profitable. This insight has equipped me with a nuanced perspective on the intricacies involved in implementing strategies within the unique context of the social sector. It also personally gave me hope, admiring the tenacity and sheer willpower with which Edie, a single mother of three, approaches (attacks) the seemingly insurmountable issues in front of her.”

Edie Prescott says, “Thank you Sally Wynn, Lorrin Van Evra, Marek Michalak, and Jessie Ralph for your hard work and dedication to help bring our business to the next level. “

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