Every Year, These Students Embark on a Mission to Change the World
The world, as we currently know it, is full of social issues that vary in urgency but never in gravity – from world hunger to access to basic education and health care to the harnessing of renewable energies. On the other hand, our current generation is one of the most engaged and motivated groups that has been trying to tackle these issues making the most out of the limited resources they have at hand.
This has created a gap between problems that are eager to be solved and a generation that definitely has what it takes to eradicate them, yet lacks access to critical resources and proper mentoring. Gandhi once said,: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Hult Prize’s Campus Directors and volunteers are doing just that by bridging the gap and offering university students the chance to explore their passions, the platform to express their ideas, and more importantly, the knowledge, skills, and tools to positively disrupt the world as we know it – one person at a time
Each year, the Hult Prize mobilizes more than 30,000 university students, and relies on them as local ambassadors in their own student communities. The Hult Prize Foundation has taken on the responsibility of eliminating the disconnection between social issues faced by humanity and youth’s ability to tackle them through educating, raising awareness, democratizing access to funds, and empowering local communities by breaking down mental barriers, redefining what is possible and what is not.
Putting Academic Curriculum into Action
“What good is an education if you can’t put it to action?”
Educational systems, nowadays, tend to be theory-oriented which has created a huge gap between university curriculums and market needs. That is why the Hult Prize developed its own comprehensive academic curriculum and put it into action through its different student-run programs in order to create a new well-rounded generation of student entrepreneurs. Under the guidance of the Hult Prize, university students organize over 5,000 in-person pitch events around the world – from local on-campus pitch level to national and regional levels. This gives them the opportunity to put the theories they learn at school into practice – from market research to building an MVP to getting their first customer.
Not only that, but the opportunity creates a framework for students to build an entrepreneurial mindset and develop the soft skills that cannot be taught by university lectures and classes. In a way, Hult Prize’s student-led programs are complementary to the knowledge provided by schools; paving the way for students to make an easy transition to the professional space.
Raising Awareness about Global Social Challenges
It is powerful to bring university students together to solve one global challenge. Each year, the 30,000+ Hult Prize student organizers engage more than 300,000 community members in promoting the toughest challenges facing humanity. An annual challenge is launched- in partnership with the United Nations – and students are called to action to solve it. Previous challenges included early-childhood education, poverty, and the refugee crisis. The Hult Prize tackles at least three of the United Nations SDGs (Social Development Goals) each year to help, and not only raise awareness about the social issues the world is facing but to also identify their root cause and eradicate them creatively.
The Importance of Social Impact
Business as we know it will never solve global issues that humanity has been struggling with for centuries. Only businesses with a social foundation and mission will. With 80% of millennials seeking out brands that provide solutions that both improve their lives and serve the larger society – businesses have to adjust their operations to meet the new generations’ expectations. Through its OnCampus programs, Hult Prize works with its 30,000- student body on making that a common knowledge.
By being involved with the Hult Prize, university students challenge their colleagues to adapt to a new market reality where sustainability and impact on people’s lives and environment are at the center of doing business. Campus Directors promote social entrepreneurship as a tool to make a difference, and democratizes the Hult Prize’s definition of a social company as a profit-oriented, impact-centered, and market-driven business.
This model has been proven to not only teach how to solve the world’s toughest issues by empowering young people to make money and do good, – but also boost the creation of game-changing for-profit businesses like McGill University’s Aspire Food.
Democratizing Access to Funding
It is uncommon to find funds being invested in idea-phase startups. This creates a barrier to the entry of wannabee entrepreneurs. However, through the Hult Prize, university students are connecting their communities with more than 5 million dollars of seed funding annually. In fact, over 65 million US Dollars have been invested in total over the past decade in university- based startups.
Monetary investment aside, the Hult prize is also connecting university students with the right ecosystems, giving them access to networks of mentors and expert advisors to accompany students in building their companies and supporting them in the “idea to execution” journey. This helps them develop their innovative ideas, learn the best practices in the entrepreneurship space, and align their products/services to market trends in order to attract more supporters, customers, and investors.
It is ridiculous to think that the world could change overnight by simply waving a magical wand. It is much more reasonable to acknowledge that the world changes slowly but surely, when everyone starts small and works together towards one common goal.
Hult Prize student movement is a good case practice proving that if provided with the right mindset, tools, and knowledge, a generation can positively disrupt the world as we know it – one person, one goal at a time!
Now, the Hult Prize Foundation is calling university students from all over the world to join their movement and help lead a generation to change the world!
Watch call to action below.
About Hult Prize:
The Hult Prize foundation transforms how young people envision their own possibilities as leaders of change in the world around them. With a US$1,000,000 global startup prize as its anchor activity, the Hult Prize has brought impact-focused programs, events, and training to over a million students globally, creating a pathway for youth everywhere to take action to build a better world. To learn more about the Hult Prize Foundation, please visit www.hultprize.org
About On Campus Program:
The Hult Prize is home to the world’s largest college and university network hub for impact. The OnCampus Program operates on two -thousand college campuses on five continents and is made up of students, university administrators, professors, and alumni who participate in the program as mentors, speakers, and sponsors for events, workshops, and startup competitions that are organized under the Hult Prize Banner.