University University Feature

Finding sustainable solutions for 2020: Hult Prize launched at DLSU

The Hult Prize at De La Salle University (DLSU) was launched last October 4 at the Roof Deck of Henry Sy Sr. Hall. Students from the University gathered to know more about the upcoming competition aligned with this year’s theme, Bold Businesses for a Better Planet. The Prize challenges students to introduce fresh business ideas geared toward addressing worldwide concerns.

Encouraging social entrepreneurship  

In her opening remarks, School of Economics Dean Dr. Marites Tiongco introduced the Hult Prize at DLSU for the year. She emphasized the importance of social entrepreneurship in providing solutions to different world issues such as global warming and food crisis.

“We put emphasis to social entrepreneurship as an approach to mutually merge concepts of practical applications of entrepreneurship and social value or even environmental sustainability in order to create innovative solutions to different social divides,” she elaborated. 

Dr. Brian Gozun, Dean of the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, echoed Tiongco and encouraged attendees to join the social entrepreneurship competitions such as the Hult Prize. He also advised the students that “one of the most important mindsets of an entrepreneur [is]  having a long-term orientation” and mentioned that the Hult Prize is more than a competition.

“It is not just a competition because in the end, it will develop you as a person…You will be able to meet friends, [and] it is a very good networking opportunity,” Gozun stated.

A fulfilling experience

Shedding light on the event, the winners of last year’s campus-wide Hult Prize Iliana Tan (VI, BSMSCHE) and Nicole Cruz (VI, AE-LGL) shared a glimpse of the nature of the competition as they presented their winning pitch entitled ISDABest, a project that aims to create restorative ocean farms around the Philippines for seaweed and shellfish. Tan and Cruz, who were among those who made it to the Top Six in the Tokyo Regionals earlier this year, shared their insights on what it was like to represent both the University and the country.

They described their experience in the Hult Prize as inspiring and humbling, emphasizing it to be an “opportunity to start something and spark change in the community.” Though missing the mark for the Prize’s Global Finals, the team found success in other ventures, winning the Global Green Growth Institute’s 2019 Greenpreneur competition. “I think the best part about it was what initially started as a case competition became something that we found as a lifelong advocacy,” Cruz expressed.

Tan recounted their efforts in reaching out to fishing communities in Batangas and Masbate, while Cruz further described how the experience helped them develop their pitch. “When we went out of communities, we found out that fishing is something that is [so] unsustainable now that fisherfolk can only catch four times in a week.”

Opportunity for Lasallians 

Kamille Liwag (V, CAM-ADV), Campus Director of the Hult Prize at DLSU explained that climate change is central in the theme of this year’s Hult Prize. The goal of the global competition is to conceptualize long-term social enterprises that are in line with the principles of sustainable development. She also added that the competition gives the Lasallian community an opportunity to be involved with world issues by bringing their social business ideas abroad. 

Alfonso S. Ramirez de Arellano (III, APC), one of the participants, described this year’s theme as “not only relevant, but very timely”, touching on the impact of recent climate strikes around the world. He emphasized that climate change is a pressing issue, noting that the crisis is progressing at an alarming rate.

He admitted that he hopes to join the competition once he has found competent team mates. “Not [many] schools offer opportunities like this on a global scale where you can compete abroad against other countries and make a name for yourself. I do believe everyone should maximize it,” Ramirez de Arellano imparted.
The application period for the Hult Prize officially began on October 4 and will end on October 16. The training sessions in preparation for the competition are set on October 18 and 19, while the main competition will commence on November 23. More information about the application process can be found on their Facebook page.

Sabine Cariño

By Sabine Cariño

John Robert Lee

By John Robert Lee

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