After fierce competition, the entrepreneurial team that will represent NUST and Pakistan at the regional finals of the International HULT prize in Dubai was selected on Thursday, at an event held in Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NUST.
At the final event, eleven of the shortlisted teams pitched their ideas to a packed audience and the jury announced Team ‘Julbul ’to be the winner. Their idea was praised for its innovation and sustainability as it proposed education of slum children by empowering their families through easy income generation opportunities. Team ‘Alamat’ received second prize on its idea of audio-visual curricula.
Backed by the Clinton Initiative, the HULT Prize is the largest globally held, social entrepreneurship competition that grants $1 million in seed money to the winning team. Each year ideas are invited from around the world to address the world’s most pressing issues. This year’s theme addressed the vital problem of ‘Childhood Education in Urban Slums’. However, it is the first time that a Pakistani university has been selected for official representation in this prestigious event.
The enthusiasm for social entrepreneurship amongst the students was evident from the more than 200 entries that were received for this event – the highest ever from around the world. The selection committee had a tough time selecting the best ideas from the innovative entries by students from all different departments and affiliated colleges of NUST.
The event at NUST was held in collaboration with the NRSP (National Rural Support Programme) and PLAN Pakistan. Both these organizations are playing a leading role in the advocacy and protection of child rights in Pakistan as well as initiating and running projects for childhood educations around the country. Their contribution was extremely pertinent to this year’s theme and equally valuable to the successful execution of the event.
The event was judged by educationists, child psychologists and entrepreneurs with vast experience in social ventures and childhood education. Speaking at the event, the experts highlighted the challenges of childhood education and the existing initiatives in place to tackle this issue.
The winning team is being incubated at Technical Incubation Centre at CIE, NUST and will travel to Dubai in March to compete against other Asian teams.