How would you improve the lives of those living in crowded urban spaces if you had $US1 million? UNSW students will have the chance to answer to this question at the Hult Prize competition, hosted for the first time at UNSW.

The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student social enterprise competition, with a prize of $US1 million in start-up funding for the winning team.

The first round of the competition will be held on 8 December at UNSW’s Michael Crouch Innovation Centre. Among those who’ll be closely watching will be Victor Dominello, NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation.

The aim of the competition is to encourage the next generation of social entrepreneurs, and launch start-up social enterprises that can radically change the world.

“This is our chance to show the world that UNSW is dedicated to social impact and making change. I look forward to seeing UNSW students tackle the world’s toughest social problems,” says Siddharth Pai, campus director for the event.

The 2016 challenge is focused on ‘Crowded Urban Spaces’. Students will be given the task of creating a “sustainable, scalable and fast growing social enterprise that will double the income of 10 million people residing in crowded urban spaces by better connecting people, goods, services and capital.”

Not a small feat, but UNSW students are already signing up for the challenge, which was selected by President Bill Clinton and announced at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York.

First-round competitions are held at colleges and universities around the world, with winners from each event advancing to one of five regional finals, in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai.

The winning team from each regional event will then complete a summer business accelerator program, where they will receive mentorship and advice on their social business.

The final round of competition will be hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at the Annual Meeting in September 2016, where delegates will select the winning team to be awarded the $US1 million prize by President Clinton.

The UNSW competition is organised by student social enterprise club Enactus, which will facilitate a workshop with Hult Prize alumni Des Viranna to help teams sharpen their pitches on 5 December.

“We believe it is crucial for bright, entrepreneurial minds to become aware of the start-up opportunities that exist in the social entrepreneurship sector, and this is exactly what the Hult Prize achieves,” says Ashi Bhat, UNSW Hult Prize Marketing Director. 

“The more young people there are who care about innovating to solve global social issues, the closer we get to achieving shared prosperity and unlocking hidden economic opportunities within our societies,” she says.

UNSW Students interested in entering the competition can register here.