A team of Newcastle University students will be presenting their social business idea at the European semi-finals of ‘The Hult Prize’ this March. The team participated in the quarterfinals at Newcastle University early December and came in first place.
The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good. In partnership with former US president Bill Clinton, the challenge encourages students to develop innovative business ideas that solve the planet’s most pressing challenges. Students compete around the world for a chance to secure 1 million USD in seed funding. This year’s challenge is improving the lives of refugees.
Freya Wordsworth, Muzammil Nahaboo Solim, Sofea Banu, and Kingsley Egbo won Newcastle’s quarterfinals with the idea for a recruitment platform LiveAgain will provide a means to re-value and document education, skills and talent of involuntary migrants to increase their employability.
Muzammil, co-founder at LiveAgain, said “We are incredibly excited about representing Newcastle at the European semi-finals. The Hult Prize is a great opportunity for students around the world to learn more about entrepreneurship and how business can be used as a force for good. More importantly, the potential impact on the lives of millions of refugees around the world is incredibly significant, and this is what really drives our team.”
Chris Brink, Vice Chancellor at Newcastle University, said: “As a civic university we are proud to be the only university in the north of the UK to host a quarterfinals of the Hult Prize. It’s important for students to start thinking about how enterprise can be used as a force for good and the Hult Prize provides an inspiring opportunity to engage students with societal challenges.”
Claire Adamson, Enterprise Manager, Careers Service said: “The Hult Prize Quarterfinals was a great success with nearly 50 students participating from a wide range of stages and disciplines. This is a great example of how social innovation and social entrepreneurship can attract students from different subject areas and we’re excited to start our own Rise Up Making Meaning Campaign to further raise awareness of social enterprise.”
“In addition, we’re really excited to support the winning team and every other interested quarter final team to further develop their ideas and create sustainable enterprises.”
Aside from encouraging students to think about social enterprise, the challenge connected local organisations with entrepreneurial students. Supporting organisations include Social Enterprise Acumen, Northstar Ventures, Gateshead Council, Nouveau Wellbeing, Override Records CIC, North of England Refugees Service, Crossings and Amnesty International.
Bill Clinton said “The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative cooperation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity, and each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces.”