Hult Challenge: Creating a Social Entreprise

By Claudia Pumarejo, Global MBA 2013-2014, Mexico

“Access to health care should be a right, not a privilege.” – Bill Clinton

L-R: Richard Huynh, Naoki Kitabayashi
Ingrid Cazalis, Claudia Pumarejo
A Social Enterprise combines the tools used by governments, NGOs and the private sector to maximize human and environmental well-being, rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders. It is a way business-minded people – looking to create value – can put their skills and knowledge to the service of humanity.

The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship that originated at Hult International Business School. One of its students, Ahmad Ashkar, thought of “crowd-sourcing brilliant solutions for how to change the world from college and university students around the world”. The first Hult Prize challenge, gathering teams from business schools to take up the challenge of the global education crisis, took place in 2010.

It has been a long time since the French “Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen.” Nevertheless, these natural rights declared in 1789, such as equality and freedom, have not been achieved in every country in the world. Moreover, as the society has evolved and new human rights have emerged, some have been left behind. In 1979, Czech jurist Karel Vasak discussed a “third generation of human rights,” including the rights of economic and social development, communication, healthy environment and natural resources.

The Clinton Global Initiative is one of Hult International Business School’s partners in the challenge. As former US president Bill Clinton recalls: “Over the past four years, the Hult Prize has brought together some of the brightest young innovators to address the obstacles that prevent prosperity and opportunity from thriving worldwide. From increasing access to technology and clean water to tackling poverty and food security on a global level, past competitions have yielded tremendous ideas that support business and social enterprise while serving the greater good”. They are doing their part.

This year, the challenge will be “Improving Chronic Disease Care in Slums.” ESSEC, a business school deeply concerned with world issues and developing nations, will be represented by two teams at this year’s Hult Prize; our team going to Shanghai and our classmates going to Dubai for the Regional Finals. The teams selected in these and other locations (such as Boston, San Francisco, London and Sao Paulo) will then go to New York City for the big final, where the winning team will received USD 1 million in funding to bring their Social Enterprise to life.

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