Sresth Gupta, a student at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, met Henry Eisenhardt and Ryan Wu, from Washington State, Jonathan Chew, from Boston, Eudora Chi, an international student from Taiwan studying in Michigan, and Shreya Tandon from India, in the Entrepreneurship program at Business World (LBW) hosted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania over the summer.
LBW is an intensive summer program for a select group of rising seniors who want an “introduction to a first-class undergraduate business education and the opportunity to hone their leadership, teamwork, and communication skills.” Since 1999, LBW has brought students from six continents and nearly every state to the school Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania,” according to the school’s website.
Srith said he and his peers are fascinated by the concept of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG), the criteria that assess how far companies are progressing with sustainability.
“It is surprising that although ESG has been a prominent concept emerging in the business world, it is still relatively unknown, and sometimes misunderstood or misinterpreted by the general public,” Srith said. “As young entrepreneurs, we all went through many phases and the inevitable struggles of creating our own ventures. While working in our startups, not all of us were aware of ESG and its practices, as were our fellow entrepreneurs. It seemed to us [that] Only major companies that generate significant revenue focus on ESG practices.”
To raise awareness, high school seniors, led by Eudora, launched the ESGeneration for Education initiative and raise awareness of ESG practices for entrepreneurs and everyone interested in learning about ESG.
“Our platform publishes several ESG related articles every week and works with other small businesses to help them be more sustainable,” said Sresth. “Through ESGeneration, we want to make an impact on our society and inspire more individuals to join our journey of building a sustainable business world with ESG practices core in all organizations.”
Students write all articles on their site. Some of them are based on research papers written by some of the students, Srith said, while the vast majority were written after a lot of research from a variety of sources including the EPA, newspapers like the New York Times, and published research.
Since high school students are all over the country, they meet every Sunday on Zoom to keep themselves on task and plan for the future of their startup.
“Leadership in the business world has captivated us because of its focus on creating leaders who build the businesses of tomorrow,” said Srith. “We have learned extensively about the importance of equality in diversity and inclusion and the growing importance of ESG in our current business environment. Discussing such important social movements in a group of some of the brightest and most motivated kids from around the world has been incredibly rewarding.”
Students share their startup ideas.
Sresth values sustainability and social responsibility and is passionate about understanding and improving how companies implement these values in their operations.
“I am very excited to work for this startup as it allows me to make a lasting impact on my local community and work towards a better future,” he said.
Eudora is passionate about exploring the intersection between entrepreneurship, accounting, and sustainability.
“I founded this initiative with five other leadership participants in the business world who are all fascinated by the concept of ESG. I love working with everyone and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve with our vision and efforts.”
Henry finds his passions at the crossroads of economics, consulting, and environmental sustainability.
“Working with local companies is my passion and I am very passionate about helping these companies be more sustainable, which is something they usually strive for,” he said.
Shreya is passionate about exploring the intersection of sustainability and business.
“I find it amazing to be able to take my research and put it into practice through this startup,” she said.
Ryan is passionate about environmental sustainability and social improvement.
“I am extremely proud of what we have achieved so far, and I look forward to making an even greater positive impact on society,” he said.
Jonathan is passionate about bringing entrepreneurial creativity into environmental and sustainability initiatives.
“I love the experience of working with such an amazing team that shares my vision and aspirations for success. I have genuine hope that what we create will have a lasting positive impact.”
Srith said the feedback they’ve received so far “has been amazing and incredibly encouraging considering how close we are to starting this endeavor”.
“A lot of local companies have shown incredible interest and we are currently building an advisory board full of industry professionals from companies like Nike and Deloitte,” said Sresth. “We look forward to working with more small businesses in our local communities and expanding our impact in the coming months.”
To learn more about ESGeneration, visit www.esgeneration.org.