by Adina Frey
Social enterprise has become almost a trend in the recent years, gaining more interest and momentum than ever before. What is often forgotten, however, is that it is us – ordinary, young people – standing behind these success stories of mini-enterprises. Callum Porter-Harris, co-founder of Mandala and finalist of Hult Prize 2015, was born and raised in England. He finished his bachelor at Queen Mary’s university and decided to take a worldwide turn, finishing his masters at Jiao Tong university in Shanghai. That’s where he heard about Hult Prize and that’s where him and his team mates begun working on their first entrepreneurial idea for social betterment.
His lack of experience in entrepreneurship nor technical skills did not impede him and his team from winning the university stage. Through a series of workshops and events, guided by their university representatives, they nurtured and developed their idea – teleStory – an application that empowers illiterate parents in India to read to their children for the first time! They were successful to reach the finals in New York – pitching in front of Bill Clinton and leaders of the UN.
They did not win the finals. It was a sad setback for teleStory, but it wasn’t the end for Callum. Inspired by a year of new challenges, endless pitches and fascinating people, he, together with James da Costa and Ben Quartermaine started Mandala Group. It works as an incubator and promoter for social enterprise ideas, still closely tied to Hult Foundation, helping participants develop and excel their ideas – under their wings, MagicBus has won the Hult Prize in 2016.
Hult Prize is an opportunity to translate an inkling of an idea into reality that aids millions of people. It starts in the classroom, between friends, at a workshop, where you see a social disjustice and decide to take a step towards solving it. Hult Prize gives you the opportunity to put the idea into practice and develop it as you progress through the three stages of the competition: first at your university, second regional stage in one of world’s five locations (London, Shanghai, Dubai, Boston, San Francisco) and the third, final stage in New York.
That is why we are happy to bring Hult Prize to Warwick. The competition will run on November 26th and until then, we will organize a series of speaker events and workshops to inspire and guide teams to create their winning pitch. The speaker events will be held together with societies around campus that we have partnered with. These are: WIDS, Incubator, Kickstart, Enactus and PPE. We aim to bring in different speakers who will explore the multitude of ways that energy can be used in various sectors, ranging from communication to agriculture. There will be panels, debates and individual speeches, which anyone can participate in. As to workshops, closer to the date we will run a lot of events focused around ideation, presentation and pitching to prepare you for the final competition.
If you would like to find out more, follow us on Facebook on Hult@Warwick, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and definitely come to our Breaking Down the Challenge event on Friday 20th October!