A team of five students from Russia, India, Bahrain, Canada and the UK are competing to win USD1 million of funding for their social enterprise to help slums in Mumbai in the Hult Prize Global Challenge, a competition judged by former USA President Bill Clinton.
The full-time MBA students from Warwick Business School are aiming to address the main issues that urban slum dwellers, one stage from the very bottom of the pyramid, face on a day to day basis.
The team consists of Supriya Mundra, of Mumbia in India, Mohamed Matar, of Manama in Bahrain, Adam Lawrence, of Solihull, Birmingham in the UK, Nikolay Samoylov, of Moscow in Russia, and Jane Kwong, of Vancouver in Canada.
They have prepared a short video to describe their comprehensive solution, which styles itself on a “smartphone” concept. The winning video is the one that gets the most “Likes” on Facebook (link: www.tinyurl.com/WBSFeedVOTE) and the team are using every channel they know to raise awareness of their solution to the problem.
The solution takes parts of existing solutions that are inefficient and do not work together, and brings them all together under one umbrella. The FEED model comprehensively addresses empowerment through education, renewable energy solutions, distribution and waste management problems simultaneously.
The team strongly believe their idea could make a huge difference to the lives of 100 million people in India and beyond – over 1 billion people worldwide live in slums which is unthinkable in this day and age.
The Warwick team narrowly lost out to Hult San Francisco in the previous round of the Hult Global Challenge, where they competed at the Hult Campus in San Francisco against 45 other world-leading business schools and universities, and defeated the likes of Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford en route to the final four.
“Even though the Warwick MBA by full-time study is a challenging undertaking, we strongly believe that it’s crucial to apply our learning to try and help those less fortunate than ourselves,” said Mr Lawrence, 34, who previously worked as a property developer.
“We firmly grasped the opportunity to help the millions of people living in urban slums worldwide with both hands.”
Only one team progresses to the Global Finals in New York in September and the team are thankful for the support they have received from Warwick Business School.
Team leader is Indian Ms Mundra, who has first-hand experience of the difficulties faced in urban slums and experience in strategy consulting. Mr Lawrence has a background in economics and property; Ms Kwong is an operations and human resources practitioner; Mr Matar is a chartered financial analyst; and Nikolay Samoylov is an energy professional.
Warwick Business School, located in central England, is the largest department of the University of Warwick and the UK’s fastest rising business school according the Financial Times. WBS is triple accredited by the leading global business education associations and was the first in the UK to attain this accreditation. Offering the full portfolio of business education courses, from undergraduate through to MBAs, and with a strong Doctoral Programme, WBS is the complete business school. Students at WBS currently number around 6,500, and come from 125 countries. Just under half of faculty are non-UK, or have worked abroad. WBS Dean, Professor Mark P Taylor, is among the most highly-cited scholars in the world and was previously Managing Director at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.
Hult competition: Responding to a challenge made by President Clinton and building on the success of previous Hult competitions (Hult Global Case Challenge) the Hult Prize has committed to launch a new wave of student social entrepreneurs. The Hult Prize has become THE program for budding social entrepreneurs, recently named one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine. The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social good. Dedicated to launching the next wave of social entrepreneurs through identifying, funding, mentoring, advising and launching new social businesses. In partnership with President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, the Hult Prize has created the world’s largest student movement for social impact and the world’s largest crowdsourcing platform, dedicated to solving the most pressing social challenges on the planet. Funded by Swedish Billionaire, Bertil Hult and supported by the Hult International Business School, the Hult Prize is THE program for budding social entrepreneurs. Each year, more than ten thousand college and university students from around the world apply to pitch their ideas at one of six regional events that take place in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and online. Up for grabs is an opportunity to spend the summer in the Hult Accelerator – a world class center for innovation located in Boston. Following the conclusion of their time working in the Hult Accelerator, each of the six winning teams then pitch their start-ups at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting, where President Clinton, along with CGI Meeting attendees select and award the winning team with a USD1 million prize.