Newcastle University team is organising the quarterfinals for the Hult Prize Challenge which will encourage students to develop business ideas to improve the lives of refugees and give them a chance of winning $1,000,000 and a fully paid trip to the European regionals in London.
The global social innovation challenge will take place on 3rd of December in Newcastle University Career Service and is open to all current Newcastle University students from all disciplines and stages.
Lisa Van Heereveld, one of the organizers and a President of Newcastle Entrepreneurs Society, said:
“The Hult Prize believes that the power of tackling social issues lies with students. They are the next generation. It’s important they’re given the chance to help shape the future. Working on societal challenges is an opportunity to develop innovative, game-changing ideas whilst improving enterprising skills that meet the graduate framework.”
This year’s challenge is focused on a contemporary issue of refugees’ crisis which, Lisa believes, affects everyone and raises moral questions about human rights.
“In the UK, 67% of initial asylum claims are rejected, leaving most refugees destitute. This means that they will remain in the UK but without a recognised identity or license to work (and earn money),” Lisa explained to the Courier. “This has a significant impact on their wellbeing and mental health, raising questions such as that of identity. Some children don’t even remember which country they came from.”
Participating in the challenge will give students a great chance to meet like-minded people, develop enterprising skills that future employers are looking for and find out more about the refugee crisis. The winning team will also have the opportunity to pitch their ideas at the European regionals.
Lisa was also excited that “the Hult Prize is supported by various industry leaders including former US President Bill Clinton, who has signed all the certificates of participation for attendees, and serial entrepreneur Bertil Hult, who will be awarding the winning team with $1,000,000 funding.”
The prize money is given to the newly created company, which will be run by the student team who came up with the idea.
She encouraged students to come along if they are interested in taking part as no specific skills are needed. Students can come in teams or individually and form teams on the day. As students will be joined by organisations working with refugees, they will explain the crisis and how it is affecting vulnerable people.
Students can register on Student’s Union website by paying the £5 is a deposit which will be returned to them on the day.
The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship which brings together the brightest college and university students from around the globe to solve the world’s most pressing issues. The annual initiative is the world’s largest crowdsourcing platform for social good and one of the planet’s leading forces for good.