Social Impact


Leading positive change

We aim to lead positive change in the world, and we want to empower our students to do the same. Everything from our philosophy, to our visionary speakers who are invited to campus, to our curriculum reflects our belief that business has the power to change lives for the better, for both individuals and for communities. That’s why we continually strive to provide the best business education possible. That’s why so many of our graduates pursue social impact initiatives and go on to become social entrepreneurs. That’s why we helped create the Hult Prize, the biggest student entrepreneurship competition in the world and movement for social good.

As our President, Stephen Hodges, says in his article for The Huffington Post: "Today’s business school students want to achieve more than good management practice, they are socially-minded young people, more so than previous generations, searching for greater meaning in their careers."

Graduates making a social impact

Ahmad Ashkar

MBA Class of 2010, founder of the Hult Prize

Ahmad, a Palestinian-American, came to Hult's MBA program in Boston from the banking industry. During a marketing class given by Charles Kane, CEO of One Laptop per Child, Ahmad’s eyes opened to the possibilities of social entrepreneurship. He was inspired to go on and create the Hult Prize, where teams of students from around the world are challenged to solve a large-scale social challenge with a viable business idea. Now partnering with the Clinton Global Initiative, former U.S. President Bill Clinton sets the Hult Prize challenge and teams compete to win a USD1million investment.

Christine Souffrant

MIB Class of 2014, founder of Vendedy

Christine earned her Master of International Business (MIB) at our Dubai campus, where she built and created Vendedy, an online platform that enables street vendors to sell internationally. Souffrant has combined her background and business savvy to launch this first-of-its-kind startup, dubbed the ‘eBay for street vendors’ and the ‘Esty of the Caribbean’. Her goal is to give vendors from all over the world greater exposure to a global marketplace.

Erica Barraza

MSE Class of 2014, co-founder of Homeless GoPro

Erica’s Global Crisis class, as part of her Master of Social Entrepreneurship (MSE) at our San Francisco campus, was the springboard for her project Homeless GoPro. The aim of the initiative, which shares insight into the lives of the San Francisco homeless via first-person video, is to use the power of technology to increase empathy and understanding for the homeless. "It's not a business, it's not a startup; it's a movement," Barraza explains.

Erica Barraza Master of Social Entrepreneurship Class of 2014, Co-ounder of Homeless GoPro

Erica Barraza

The Hult Prize

The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship. In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, we have helped create the world's largest student movement for social good. Founded by a Hult graduate, funded by the Hult family, and in partnership with former U.S. president Bill Clinton, teams of students from all over the world to compete to win USD1 million of investment in their idea that will change the world for the better.

Ahmad Ashkar, Hult Prize founder

Change tomorrow

In 2009, an enterprising Hult student, Ahmad Ashkar, had a compelling idea and acted on it. Today, the Hult Prize is the world’s largest student entrepreneurship competition, with 10,000 participants in 150 countries. The Hult Prize acts as a start-up accelerator for social good and is dedicated to launching the next wave of social entrepreneurs through identifying, advising, funding, and launching revolutionary social businesses.

Hult Prize 2014 challenge

Join the Hult Prize

Open to universities, colleges, and students from around the world, the annual Hult Prize opens doors for your idea to become the next biggest business solution to the world’s toughest social challenges. Each year, a critical social challenge is selected, and student teams from around the world are charged with developing innovative social enterprises that aim to eliminate the social issue. The Hult Prize is anything but an academic exercise.

Social entrepreneur for Hult Prize

Start-up accelerator for social good

Responding to a challenge delivered by President Clinton, and building on the success of previous Hult competitions, the Hult Prize has become the premier program for budding social entrepreneurs, recently named one of the top five ideas changing the world by former President Bill Clinton and TIME magazine.

In partnership with President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, the Hult Prize has created the world’s largest student movement for social impact, dedicated to solving the most pressing social challenges on the planet. Each year university and business school 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.

Hult Prize finalist brainstorming on the project

The 2015 challenge

The 2015 Hult Prize "President's Challenge" will be Early Childhood Education in the Urban Slum and beyond, as selected by President Bill Clinton at this year's Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York. The challenge specifically asks teams to build sustainable and scalable social enterprises to address the early childhood education gap in kids 0-6 years old.

Winners of the regional finals will spend the summer in the Hult Accelerator – a world-class center for innovation. Following their time working in the Hult Accelerator, each of the six winning teams will then pitch their start-ups at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, where President Clinton, along with CGI Meeting attendees, select and award the winning team with a USD1 million prize.

The 2014 winning team

The winning team for the 2014 Hult Prize challenge was NanoHealth from Indian School of Business. Here is an overview of their winning solution.

NanoHealth, Hult Prize 2014 Winners, in the slumsNanoHealth, 2014 Hult Prize winnersNanoHealth, Hult Prize 2014 Winners, in the slums

NanoHealth developed an idea to create a network of health workers and equip them with "Dox-in-Box," a diagnostic tool which can take vitals and risk-profile patients for diabetes and hypertension. “What you need to diagnosis a problem or disease, we have tried to bring that into a device which we call the Dox-in-Box,” said Manish Ranjan, NanoHealth CEO.

“This device is portable, put it in a backpack and its the idea to bring health care or the doctor to their doorstep.” After a doctor within the NanoHealth network confirms a disease in a patient, the “Dox-in-Box” can provide monitoring services. By adding doctors and pharmacies to its network, NanoHealth hopes that its program can become a “one-step shop” when dealing with chronic disease management.

“This has been tried in hundreds of thousands of patients across the world where the idea is if you do a persistent messaging environment around the patient, prescription compliance improves from 15 percent to 85 percent,” said Ashish Bondia, NanoHealth Chief Medical Officer. “We are talking about saving lives, more than a million premature deaths can be prevented if we are able to implement this solution across the globe,” he added.

The 2013 winning team

The winning team for the 2013 Hult Prize challenge was Aspire from McGill University. Here is an overview of the winning solution in their own words.
Aspire, Hult Prize 2013 Winners project - food security in urban slumsAspire, 2013 Hult Prize WinnersAspire, Hult Prize 2013 Winners project - Food security in urban slums

"Aspire learned through research during the summer that food insecurity is not an issue of lack of food. The vast majority in urban slums do not go hungry. But they lack access to affordable nutrition. Many suffer from malnourishment and nutrient deficiencies despite being overweight or obese. Therefore, the problem of food security in urban slums is not one of food being expensive per se, but of nutritious food being unavailable or overpriced compared to cheaper, less nutritious offerings.

Our disruptive social enterprise, Aspire, aims to improve access to edible insects worldwide. We develop and distribute affordable and sustainable insect farming technologies for countries with established histories of entomophagy, or insect consumption. Our farming solutions stabilize the supply of edible insects year-round, drastically improving and expanding the economic ecosystem surrounding insect consumption in the regions serviced. Not only do our durable farming units create income stability for rural farmers, they have a wider social impact by lowering the price of edible insects. This is central to our mission of increasing access to highly nutritious edible insects amongst the poorest, and therefore neediest, members of society."