January 6, 2016, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) announced the winner of the on-campus competition to qualify a team of AUC students to participate in the Hult Prize competition, the world’s largest student crowd-sourcing platform for social good. AUC’s winning team NEXU will advance to the regional finals of the 7th annual Hult Prize in response to President Bill Clinton’s Crowded Urban Spaces Challenge. The Hult Prize has been named one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine. In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the innovative crowd-sourcing platform identifies and launches social ventures that aim to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges. This year, the Hult Prize is focused around finding innovative solutions to double the income of 10 million residents or crowded urban spaces by 2020.
AUC’s winning team NEXU will now compete with other students from universities around the world to win the $1 million prize, which will be awarded to the team with the most creative solution to this years’ challenge. The prize will be used to fund the winning team’s project. The Hult Prize regional finals in March 2016 will be hosted at each of Hult International Business School’s five campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. AUC’s winning team, NEXU, which will compete in London, includes, Omar Thabet, Omar Wagdy, Mostafa Wafik, students of mechanical engineering at the School of Sciences and Engineering, and Ahmed Abd El Fatah, an accounting student at the School of Business. The team competed in the Hult Prize at AUC event, which was organized in partnership with the International Conference on Global Economy (ICGE) at AUC.
The team presented their solution, the social enterprise NEXU, which resembles a mobile application that connects skilled labor and consumers. For the skilled labor, the app offers daily job opportunities in several fields such as carpentry, plumbing, electricity, cleaning/housekeeping, home catering. For consumers, the app facilitates access to these services, while ensuring professionalism, reliability and quality. The enterprise's main goal is to improve the lives of individuals with limited income without adding further pressures or constraints to their lives. The enterprise also provides vocational courses, for those seeking opportunities but lack the necessary skills, fully funded by Nexu and provided through partnerships with several entities such as NGOs, trade schools, workshops and skilled individuals. Nexu also provides labor with human development courses to develop their communication and personal skills.
“What’s really great about this year’s challenge is that it’s too relevant to the Egyptian urban spaces obstacle,” said Yasmine Helmy, Hult Prize campus director at AUC. “I am happy and excited that our team at AUC, NEXU, is actively working to enhance their solutions and provide a sustainable solution to enhance the living standards of the people in need.”
A not-for-profit organization committed to social entrepreneurship, the Hult Prize Foundation, in partnership with former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, hosts college and university events around the world, encouraging teamwork through its annual competition, which was initiated in 2009.
Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and founder of the Hult Prize attributes the success of the competition to the global youth revolution. “We continue to be moved by the large number of students from around the world who are capitalizing on the opportunity to develop business models that target the bottom of the pyramid. We wish every team the best of luck and thanks to AUC for supporting this initiative,” he said.
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 their new social business.
The final round of competition will be hosted at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in September 2016, where the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) delegates will select the annual Hult Prize winner. President Bill Clinton will award the USD 1 million prize to the winning team, to kick start their idea.
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