Following last year’s win at the #1 spot last year, this constant recognition is the drive that makes the company keep pushing barriers. Let’s take a look at the internal aspects that build the Hult Prize Foundation through its in-door culture, the people, the laughs and the behind the scenes that makes it so unique.
1. The People
First things first – the Hult Prize wouldn’t be the driving force in a global scale if it weren’t for each and everyone of the student volunteers, the staff working extra hours, and the amazing participants year after year that are dedicated to build a better future and well, ‘change the world’.
There is something about the Hult Prize family, both internally and externally that resonates throughout each individual – we (and I include myself here) are a bit weird in a way. Yes, we are all smart, eager, motivated and enthusiastic about what we represent; but there is more. Everyday at work feels like a chat with my close friends even though I’ve only known them for a few months – and the fun is in every second spent together with our unique little quirks. Looking around the room I don’t see coworkers, but I see the next president of Tunisia (for real) and the next most amazing and talented people. That touch of ‘je ne sais quoi’ in each of us is what is characteristic of the Hult Prize, from us to our sister organization EF sharing the same space we can be quite a fun crowd to be around from 9 to 5.
What is Hult Prize’s mission? Our mission is to lead a generation to change the world via entrepreneurship.
Hult Prize unlocks the desire of young people to change the world through business, right at the intersection of purpose and profit. The Hult Prize is the world’s biggest engine for the launch of for-good, for-profit startups emerging from university with over 2500 staff and volunteers around the world. In nearly a decade, the movement has deployed more than $50M of capital into the sector and mobilized more than one million young people to re-think the future of business as it continues to breed disruptive innovation on college and university campuses across 100 plus countries. The Hult Prize Foundation been called the”Nobel Prize for Students” and has been featured in a TIME Magazine Cover Story highlighting the “Top 5 Ideas Changing the World.”
We challenge young people to solve the worlds toughest issues by empowering them to make money, do good and make life better for millions of people through the creation of for good for profit businesses. Through leveraging human capital, knowledge and the crowd like never before, the Hult Prize has helped launch social enterprises that share the common facets:
3. Core Values
We call it the Hult Prize Mindset, but in all honesty it’s the driving force for entrepreneurs. Yes entrepreneurial spirit is a must, but there is the need of : purpose, grit and empathy. What do these mean? A purpose to wake up everyday and go to work, or study that is beyond that materialistic perspective of live – something full-filling and worthy of your time. Grit is the basic instinct in being an entrepreneur – no matter how many times you fail and fall you rise and keep going, because your purpose is all that powerful. And finally empathy, because a world where you can’t resonate with the person next to you and try to understand the why’s behind their actions is simply not enough. Thanks to these core values that run in everyone in our community, Fast Company has called the Hult Prize “One of the Most Innovative Companies in 2018”.
4. The Commitment
Why do I wake up and go to work every day? Simple – I believe in what I do and the good we are creating day by day across the world. The results are in, and Hult Prize IS the leading platform for students around the world in creating opportunity for their growth and in consequence changing the lives of millions of people one idea at the time. Working in a global team sometimes means working around timezones and staying up late or waking up at 4AM to take a call, but its all worth it (and honestly quite enjoyable) if you believe in the core of the organization.
Don’t take it from me, take it from the +25,000 community of volunteers that work around the clock (free if I may add) to bring the Hult Prize to every single student in the world. The purpose, the drive and the commitment is stronger than anything. In partnership with the United Nations Office of Partnerships and the incredible support from president Bill Clinton – as well as key partners around the globe including the Crown Prince Foundation, it is safe to say that what we stand for is REAL and we have proven our worth.
5. Staff Development Opportunities
Everything we hope to help our participants and volunteers in developing — the skills, the opportunities, ‘the increased confidence, knowing more about the world and our place in it’ — it mirrors the professional development opportunities available to staff.
The Hult Prize has always worked on a horizontal line – where we are not defined by the title or the time in the organization, one can grow as much as they dream within the organization as long as they put the effort into it. With a small core staff, it is easy to grow and even easier to shine! Every week in our Mexico City office, there is a group outing where we interact outside the office strengthening our relationships beyond professional and into real friendships. Going to seminars, the movie premiere of our amazing Video Content Creator and so forth – it is clear that we don’t fit the classical box of being just ‘co-workers’.
Furthermore, Hult Prize is global – meaning that the staff has the opportunity to travel and see the world as they develop their professional careers. How cool is that? Launching over 25 Regional Summits this year, the staff has the chance to attend while working and dive heads-first into the culture, the food, the language and the amazing youth these cities have to offer. I have only been in Hult Prize for less than a year and already have travelled to my life-long home London, Brazil and New York. As well as having Egyptians and Tunisians living in Mexico City for the first time. Globalization – is Hult Prize.
6. Benefits and Perks
Moving from the Staff opportunities – let’s look at the other amazing benefits that mean being part of the Hult Prize team – whether staff, volunteer, mentor, judge, participant, and all others in between. Due to the partnership with the United Nations Office of Partnerships every year the Hult Prize Finals take place at the emblematic UNHQ in New York. As well as having a selfie with president with Bill Clinton, it is save to say that the incentives are enticing to say the least. Another part of the program, the Accelerator, takes place in a castle – yes you heard that right. The Ashridge Estate in the North of London becomes the home of over 200 entrepreneurs and mentors for 6-weeks. Can you think of a better way to spend the summer? Cause I can’t. As part of the Hult Prize community we have the opportunity to ‘explore the world and come together with people from diverse backgrounds’. HP’s ‘perks are a direct extension of and complement to our mission’, aimed at bringing people together and changing the world.
In 2009, an enterprising MBA student at Hult International Business School named Ahmad Ashkar had a compelling idea—leverage the crowd to generate startup ideas from young people to sustainably solve the world’s most critical social challenges. Through the help of Hult, he acted on it.
“Sponsored by Hult International Business School, the Hult Prize benefits from the business schools global footprint, research and global resources.”
The Hult family has been dedicated to opening the world through education for more than 50 years. Since founding EF, Education First, Bertil Hult’s vision has been to provide life changing education and transformative experiences to people everywhere. Today, EF is run by his three oldest sons, and offers cultural exchanges, educational travel, language training and degree programs in 53 countries. The Hult Prize is made possible through the ongoing support of the Hult Family.
8. Entrepreneurial Spirit
Our founder is an entrepreneur. Our goal is driven by an entrepreneurial mindset. Our actions are represented by entrepreneurial enterprises. Clearly, it is written in the Hult Prize blood.
In a gist, participants are encouraged and helped as they come up with big ideas that will solve the year’s challenge (this year as we ring the 10th year anniversary – we are focusing in youth unemployment and how to bring meaningful jobs to over 10,000 youths). With the ultimate goal of receiving the 1M dollars in seed money to bring the idea to life. Looking back at point #3 – I believe we are all entrepreneurs in our way, wether it be creating the largest platform to teach entrepreneurship like our CEO Ahmad Ashkar, or developing that new CRM within the organization. It’s you idea come to life.
9. Playfulness – Year Round
It might be due to having the Headquarters in Mexico City or because we are always surrounded by incredibly eager youths – but the laughs don’t stop. We deliver the results, but that doesn’t mean that its all work and no fun. Thats the amazing part of Hult Prize, you enjoy the climb to the top of the mountain because you simply enjoy climbing.
A tendency to fly halfway around the world to meet in person rather than having a call.
An unwavering dedication to fun and open workspaces.
A love for food – Arabic, Mexican, Italian, Peruvian and so much more. We are always hungry.
Amazing karaoke sessions (both in office and outside).
And always keeping up with the latest meme trends (we do have to relate to university students after all!).