Social Entrepreneurship Competition Draws 100+ Competitors from Claremont McKenna

The Hult Prize has arrived at Claremont McKenna College.

Established in 2010 by Ahmad Ashkar, the Hult Prize is an annual competition that aims to solve pressing global issues by crowdsourcing ideas from college students around the world. Participating students are tasked with developing a proposal to solve a specific issue, with the chance to win $1 million to launch their project. This year’s challenge is ‘Early Childhood Education’ and requires teams to plan social enterprises to address the global education gap for children younger than six.

The competition on the CMC campus is being hosted by CMC’s social entrepreneurship club ImpACT (Inspiration, Mission, Passion, ACTION) and the Kravis Leadership Institute. Thirty teams of three to five students—122 students in total—have registered to take part.

Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College Vice President William Su CM ’16, Maggie Miller CM ’16 and Cole Mora CM ’17 have been vital in organizing the logistics behind the competition. Su is the campus director of the Hult Prize at CMC, Miller is the ImpACT Coordinator and Mora is the director of publicitiy.

Miller, who organizes the various workshops hosted by ImpACT to assist teams through all stages of the competition, said that prospective teams can expect strong support.

“We are hosting seven workshops, and they’re going to be on a series of topics from pitch practicing to social enterprise,” Miller said. “We aim to give students concrete tools to really tackle these issues and a network of resources, so if they hit a roadblock we can reach out to them and connect them with mentors and experts in their field.”

ImpACT will host a workshop Nov. 21 in collaboration with the Center for Writing and Public Discourse and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Mora said that the workshop, titled ‘Communicate to Innovate,’ is designed to help teams express their proposals.

“Many groups have great ideas, but they can’t communicate or write out their ideas very effectively,” Mora said. “Then, I realized we have a bunch of writing consultants whose job is to help people write more effectively and to help them realize their voice, so why don’t we bring the Center for Writing into this? Why not get CIE involved too?”

Reid Furubayashi CM ’15 signed up for the competition because of his interest in education. He said that he was “excited to learn more about early childhood education in general” and to focus on pragmatic solutions.

“I want to help create something that’s feasible and practical,” Furubayashi said, “something that I believe wholeheartedly could be implemented tomorrow.”

Mora said that CMC’s teams will “wow people with the ideas they come up with.”

“You can have a group of experts debating the problem of early childhood education gap in a board room, but if you open it to the world you never know what you’re going to get,” Mora said. “I think the solutions that you get will be incredible.”

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