The Hult Prize, in partnership with the United Nations, is the largest global start-up accelerator for social and impact entrepreneurship that taps into the youth’s ideas and solutions to solve the world’s problems, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It is a global leader in creating and launching disruptive companies in the impact sector among youth worldwide. It has created sectors, built momentum, and most importantly – unlocked the infinite possibility for the world’s next generation of entrepreneurs. The University of Nairobi has 25+ teams participating in this global challenge that has a prize of 1M USD prize in seed capital.
The theme for this year’s challenge is Building Startups That Have A Positive Impact On Our Planet With Every Dollar Earned. It challenges teams globally to build bold businesses that have a positive net impact on the environment with every sale completed, a dollar earned and a decision made to reach no fewer than a million consumers within a decade. For this challenge, the Hult Prize Foundation has partnered with The Earth Day Network in recognition that 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Earth Day and 75th anniversary of the United Nations. As a consequence of Earth Day, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, and other related initiatives, environmental consciousness globally is arguably greater than it has ever been. However, the natural environment itself continues to be degraded at a massive scale by human economic activity. Hult Prize believes that the Earth doesn’t just need better advocates, it needs more powerful allies—an entire generation of allies that are committed to deploying sustainable solutions to end environmental degradation.
The University of Nairobi Hult Prize OnCampus Program was officially inaugurated by Dr Richard Munang, UN Environment’s Africa Regional Climate Change Coordinator and author of the book “Making Africa Work Through the Power of Innovative Volunteerism” on 8th November 2019. He delivered a keynote address and an engaging discussion with the participants on how youth can leverage on Climate Action to drive enterprise opportunities. He remarked that successful entrepreneurship in Africa depends upon tapping value chains aligned with the continent’s areas of comparative advantage. These ideas become more profound with impactful enterprises that build a better planet. He concluded by admonishing the participants to develop their unborrowed vision to be able to drive enterprises that create a positive impact on our planet with every dollar earned. He emphasized that we are our biggest assets and only we can limit ourselves. Our biggest ability is our availability. It’s not about eloquence but action.
There has been training sessions that include: Team Dynamics and Leadership Skills by Ms. Shali Shambi, Senior Presales Engineer at SAP Africa that focused on capitalising on team members strengths and leadership for startups; Designing Thinking and Idea Validation by Coach Robert Yawe, Managing Director at Synaptech Solutions where we cracked the 2020 Challenge using the design thinking tools to validate the ideas; Developing Business Models and Strategy by Mr. Francis Thairo, Industry Value Engineer at SAP Africa for our startups; Pitching Training and Simulation Exercise by Ms. Keko Naisula, Senior Education Account Executive at SAP Africa for the Hult Prize, including the elevator pitch and Preliminaries with a section of our judges to keep us on track.
The impactful journey culminates on 6th December 2019 at the University of Nairobi where participants will pitch before the eminent panel of judges. The winning team will represent the University of Nairobi at the Regionals happening in various parts of the world.