Business alum develops 'm-insurance' for disadvantaged

Emory Business | May 3, 2012

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Goizueta Business School alumnus Peter Gross is general manager of MicroEnsure Ghana, which won the 2011 Financial Times/International Finance Corporation Sustainable Finance Award in the Achievement in Basic Needs Financing category.

During his last semester at Goizueta Business School, Peter Gross worked on an independent study with Steve Walton, associate professor in the practice of information systems and operations management, exploring mobile phone-based insurance, or "m-insurance." And just a year after his graduation, the organization he now leads as general manager, MicroEnsure Ghana, won the coveted 2011 Financial Times/International Finance Corporation Sustainable Finance Award in the Achievement in Basic Needs Financing category.

Gross's pioneering approach to offering free or low-cost insurance products through a collaborative program with leading mobile phone companies has resulted in a doubling of the number of Ghanaians with life insurance in less than a year, with more than 500,000 people already covered. MicroEnsure and Tigo, together with its partners Milvik and Vanguard Life, seek to protect customers from the often crippling costs of funerals in a culture that honors a loved one's passing with elaborate ceremonies.

"The potential in these markets is unlike anything I've seen elsewhere," say Gross, who has a master of theology from the University of Oxford and was working as a sales development manager when he enrolled in Goizueta's part-time MBA program.

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