RSM reaches 2015 Hult Prize regional finals in Dubai

A team of MBA students of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) has advanced to the regional finals of the sixth annual Hult Prize. Student teams compete in five cities around the world for a chance to secure US$1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture focusing on early children education. The regional finals will take place on 13 and 14 March 2015.

The 2015 Hult Prize will focus on building start-ups that provide sustainable, high-quality early education solutions to 10 million children under the age of six in urban slums and beyond by 2020. This challenge was selected and set by former US President Bill Clinton.

•	RSM MBA team in the regional finals in Dubai for 2015 Hult Prize - Shashank Batra, Anna Allen, Vanessa Salcedo, Binita Ramla and Anand MoharirStudent teams from RSM’s International Full-time MBA programme have been participating from the start of this contest in 2010. This year’s RSM MBA team members are Shashank Batra from India, Anna Allen from the USA, Binita Ramla from South Africa, Vanessa Salcedo from Peru, and Anand Moharir from India.

RSM team member Binita Ramla says the MBA team is determined to take action to significantly contribute to finding solutions to improve early childhood education in developing nations. “We want to co-create and implement a sustainable business model to tackle the problem for a wider social impact,” she said. “Together, we possess the pedagogy, technology, engineering and entrepreneurial skills, and experiences critical to the successful design, planning, co-ordination and execution of effective and cost-efficient activities across diverse environments.”

Sustainable social venture

Vanessa Salcedo said that the RSM MBA team represents countries where in addition to making money, “business has a strong commitment to the development of society.” She added: “Our backgrounds ensure a strong participation in the Hult Prize Challenge, and the potential successful implementation of a new social enterprise.”

The MBA students can learn from each other, but also from other teams’ solutions and suggestions for sustainable social ventures. “I look forward to connect with motivated and talented people from across the globe and learn from other innovative ideas that will be presented,” said Anna Allen.

The Hult Prize gives entrepreneurs from around the world a platform to innovate and revolutionise the way society thinks about servicing the poor. Teams were chosen from more than 20,000 applications received from more than 500 colleges and universities in more than 150 countries. The Hult Prize regional final competitions will take place on 13 and 14 March 2015 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. RSM’s MBA team will compete in Dubai.

US$1 million prize

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch and scale their new social ventures. The final round of the competition will be hosted by former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) at its annual meeting in September, where CGI delegates will select a winning team, which will be awarded the US$1 million prize. “The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative co-operation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity,” said Clinton. “Each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces.”

Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and founder of the Hult Prize Foundation, attributes the rapid growth of the socially responsible investment (SRI) sector to new demand being created by the international market place. “Servicing the world’s poorest through profitable and sustainable enterprise is not just good for the world, its great business,” he said. “Our pioneering platform builds ecosystems by leveraging crowd and we couldn’t be happier that RSM will be joining our mission with their participation in the Hult Prize.”

The Hult Prize Foundation

The Hult Prize Foundation is a pioneer in crowd-based approaches to the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems and the acceleration of social enterprise. Its start-up accelerator brings together the brightest college and university students from around the globe to solve the world’s most pressing issues. It has been named by TIME among the top five ideas changing the world. The annual Hult Prize Challenge is the world’s largest student competition and crowd-sourcing platform for social good. The Hult Prize Foundation has been funded by the Hult family since it was founded in 2009 by its CEO, Ahmad Ashkar.

The Clinton Global Initiative 

Established in 2005 by former US President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most critical challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and journalists. To date, CGI members have made more than 2,500 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at US$ 87.9 billion.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
(RSM) is a top tier European business school and ranked among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan.

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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