Eyes on the Prize: Ahmad Ashkar
Monday, May 11, 2015
If you’ve followed social entrepreneurship news even slightly in the past few years, you won’t have failed to witness the unstoppable rise of the Hult Prize.
The annual competition, which pits students from around the world against each other in a bid to solve the planet’s biggest challenges with innovative start-up ideas, has become one of, if not the, most prominent business competitions on earth.
Thousands of young entrepreneurs sign up to the contest each year to find answers to a challenge set by former US President Bill Clinton, with the promise of $1 million in seed funding to help the winner turn their idea into reality.
With ‘social’ and ‘sustainable’ two core principles, the Hult Prize Foundation has become one of the most talked about organisations globally, not just by budding business people, but by world leaders, influential thinkers, and celebrities. Indeed, it was named by Time Magazine as one of the “top five ideas that are changing the world for the better” in a 2012 article.
And having launched in 2010, things are just getting started. As well as the competition growing each year, the Foundation has launched the Hult Prize Accelerator, providing continued support, mentorship and advice for winning teams to help them move forward with the implementation of their start-up.
Most importantly, however, the Prize is bringing genuine and long-lasting change to some of the poorest people in the world – not through charity, not through philanthropy, but through business, generating sustainability through profit-making business models designed to bring social and financial impact.