The Changemakers: Hult Prize at Pentecost University

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The traditional setting of school, especially the tertiary institution over the period has trained its students to be job seekers rather than job creators. A system that has negatively challenged students not to think outside the box, leaving them only with the mindset of being employees rather than employers. Even with this, for some students, more practically those of us in Ghana, gaining employment comes with the expectation of at least a 4 or 5-year working experience, and a master’s degree, for which many graduates don’t possess. Over the past decade, Hult Prize is changing this narrative, challenging students to be changemakers, become employers rather than employees, whiles solving a global challenge through entrepreneurship. What is Hult Prize?

The Hult Prize which has been called “the Nobel Prize for students” is ranked amongst the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Co. and was highlighted in a TIME magazine cover story highlighting the “TOP 5 IDEAS Changing The World.”

Today, the Hult Prize Foundation is the world’s biggest engine for the launch of for-good, for-profit start-ups emerging from the University and Colleges with over 2500 staffs and volunteers around the world.

Training over one million youth in impact entrepreneurship over the past decade, the movement has deployed more than $60M of capital into the sector and mobilized and empowered millions of young people to re-think the future of business as it continues to breed disruptive innovations on college and University campuses across 100 plus countries.

The competition is bridged in three stages, the On-Campus edition held at participating universities, where winners of the various On Campus are drawn to compete with each other in a selected city in the world and finally the Finals, hosted at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Last year, the team from Pentecost University (R.A.U.L) won the On Campus edition of the challenge and represented Pentecost University and Ghana at the World Virtual Regional Finals in Monterrey, Mexico. The competition, held virtually over concerns of the coronavirus global pandemic saw Pentecost University advance to the TOP 6, competing against reputable schools such as University of San Francisco.

 This year, the competition returns to the campus of Pentecost University for the second year running, and the organizing committee is poised to scale over the challenges presented due to the coronavirus, restricting physical engagement.

“So far, all our engagements have been online with our prospective Hult Prize community here at Pentvars, we have a WhatsApp group where we engage them and send them materials about Hult Prize” – Faith (Team Coordinator)

The organizing committee, comprising of a second, third and final year students of Pentecost University are leading a generation in changing the world, a mantra of the Hult Prize Foundation and are getting ready to launch the second edition of the Hult Prize On Campus program on 2nd November 2020.

Uche, team lead for Team Raul returns this year as the head of the team coordinators to pass on the experience to participants for this year’s challenge, and he speaks about his experiences as a participant last year.

“For me, the highlight of last year’s event was even after the finals, the emotions with the World Regional Finals, where we were supposed to travel to Mexico for our Regional Finals. Then coronavirus came and all our plans were on hold, the organizing team had booked hotel and ticket reservations. That was a big disappointment but then there was still the ultimate goal, participating in the Regionals online, where as a team we had to wait all night, due to the vast time zone difference between ourselves here in Ghana and Mexico. After our presentation, with some team members and organizing members half asleep, we had a call that changed our lives, we advanced into the top 6 of the competition” he said.

The Campus Director of Hult Prize PU, Chris also thanked the management and staff of Pentecost University for their continuous support and also appealed for sponsorship and partners for this year’s challenge.

“We’ve had a great deal of support from the University, and we are extremely happy with their engagement and we also call on other institutions and corporate Ghana to extend some level of cash or kindness to help us empower the students here Pentecost University,” he added.

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