Meet The Finalists Of The Social Entrepreneurship Competition With A $1 Million Prize
By Thomas Nugent
In 2009, the rules of pitching competitions were rewritten by an innovative, socially-driven entrepreneur from Hult International Business School.
His name is Ahmad Ashkar, and he is the brain behind the Hult Prize.
The son of Palestinian parents who moved to the US in the 1970s, Ahmad began his career in finance in 2002, working on Islamic mortgage securities in the run up to the financial crash.
In an Esquire Middle East article in 2017, Ahmad says after the crash he had to fire 50 of his staff overnight. He turned to his wife and asked, ‘what are we going to do now?’
The answer to that question was Hult International Business School, where Ahmad enrolled in 2009. Two weeks into his MBA, he had the idea to combine ‘capitalism and humanitarianism’ to tackle social ills. His vision became the Hult Prize.
Almost a decade on, the Hult Prize is now one of the world’s biggest drivers of for-good, for-profit, ethical startups. It challenges aspiring entrepreneurs around the world to find business opportunities to solve the world’s most pressing issues. The winners are given $1 million to propel their venture.
Photo courtesy of Sudipto Sarkar.