Articles - Leadership & Change Management

HEC Paris African women leaders award for social innovation attributed at Women’s Forum in Mauritius

HEC Paris awarded Clara Ravoavahy, a Madagascan entrepreneur, the HEC African Women Leaders Award for Corporate Social Innovation at the Women’s Forum that was held on 20 and 21 June in Mauritius. Founder and president of New Print in Madagascar, Clara Ravoavahy transformed her company into a social enterprise by combining environmental concerns and professional integration.

Dedicated to small States and Africa’s climate change challenges, the 2016 Women’s Forum in Mauritius showcased the innovative initiatives and commitment of women to the environment.


When recycling becomes a creator of social value

At the head of New Print in Madagascar since 1992, Clara Ravoavahy is one of these leaders. To take action for the environment and support the employment of women from rural villages in Madagascar, she decided to recycle the waste paper produced by her factory and to transform it into handcrafted products. In addition to providing a revenue for these housewives, the profits are used to create a cultural and educational center.


I am so honored and grateful to be the recipient of this award. Thank you HEC. For me, it is an encouragement that will help us to continue protecting the environment and also the create jobs for the Malagasy women in the rural communities of Madagascar." – Clara Ravoavahy, winner of African Women Leaders Award for Corporate Social Innovation


The prize was awarded by Her Excellency Dr. Ameenah Gurib Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mrs. Jacqueline Franjou, Director of the Women’s Forum, Mrs. Inge Kerkloh-Devif, Executive Director Global Business Development at HEC Paris Executive Education and Professor Bertrand Moingeon, Executive Director of the HEC Indian Ocean Office.


Do more with less

Clara Ravoavahy’s initiative is an excellent illustration of the impact of frugal innovation, the subject that Professor Bertrand Moingeon presented during a round table at the Women’s Forum on 21 June. "Frugal innovation is really just resourcefulness", he declared, "or how to create innovation with limited resources". This type of innovation often goes hand in hand with sustainable development.


Frugal green innovation, in the context of recycling, is doing more with less while having a positive impact on the environment." – Bertrand Moingeon, Professor at HEC Paris


Parity and social innovation

​This annual prize highlights the commitment of HEC Paris to both parity and social business.

The school has put in place a wide range of initiatives to support women in their professional careers. Amongst them are career services, “HEC Alumni” and “Women at HEC” as well as continually striving to increase the number of women in its Executive Education programs. “We think that there is a direct correlation between executive education and progress in terms of parity”, underlines Inge Kerkloh-Devif.  With this in mind, showcasing the careers of exemplary leaders such as Clara Ravoavahy’s is a powerful way to inspire other women.

In terms of research, the HEC Paris Society and Organizations Center (SnO), of which Bertrand Moingeon is a member, aims to shed light on contemporary societal and environmental issues with which organizations are confronted.