The first Inter-University Philippe de Woot Award ceremony was held on February 23, 2010 in Louvain-la-Neuve. During the ceremony, the award for the best Master thesis on Corporate Social Responsibility went to Marie Bertrand, who graduated from the Louvain School of Management (LSM).
Marie Bertrand's thesis, « An Exploratory Study about Corporate Governance in Social Entrepreneurship » (supervised by professor Frank Janssen, LSM), examines the governance mechanisms adopted in the social entrepreneurship sector. Although social entrepreneurship is benefitting from a growing recognition around the world, very little research has been conducted on the subject. Her research therefore aims to assess whether the various factors usually linked to the phenomenon result in different management and governance mechanisms. The thesis helps achieving a better understanding of the daily challenges and specific needs that this form of entrepreneurship brings in term of governance. Furthermore, it enables to discover how governance mechanisms can play a concrete role in the research of social innovation and social impact. The study finally shows the importance of having a good perception of the various operational issues at stake in the emergent field of social entrepreneurship if we believe those initiatives should be proliferated in the future.
The jury (LSM, Solvay, Vlerick, UA, HEC-ULg et Ichec) awarded Marie Bertrand's work according to various criteria:
- The originality and relevance of the subject
- The clarity of her présentation as well as a detailed bibliography
- The rigour of her research
- The quality of her critical thinking
- A very personal and deeply involved application letter
By being awarded the first Philippe de Woot award, Marie Bertrand receives a prize of 4500 €, from which 1500 € will be offered to an environmental or a social project. She chose to donate 1000 € to « Côte-à-Côte » and 500 € to the « Abantu Zambia » project.