Three young entrepreneurs from Staffordshire University have reached the UK finals of the 2017 Hult Prize – the world’s largest student competition.
Daniel Griffiths, 20, Danielle Nugent, 21, and Sarah Wright, 24, are the three Business Management students who will pitch their business idea in London on March 3 and 4, with their idea aiming to transform the lives of female refugees in Colombia.
Successful teams from the national heats will go on to compete in the finals in New York later on this year.
Should they win the competition, they will receive funding of $1 million (more than £800,000) to help get their idea off the ground, as part of the annual event which is backed by former US president Bill Clinton.
Daniel, who will lead the team when they pitch to representatives of the Hult Foundation and Clinton Global, explained the idea: “Our idea involves setting up an ethical fashion upcycling business, which will help Colombian female refugees who are fleeing sexual exploitation and violence.
“The aim of our project is to raise awareness of the often overlooked – but extremely vulnerable – female refugees in Colombia and South America who have escaped violence and unrest in their own country to be forced into prostitution by gangs in their new homeland.”
The annual Hult Prize event attracts over 50,000 applications from around the globe each year, with former winners representing some of the most prestigious universities and businesses in the world.
Dr Peter Jones, Dean of Staffordshire University Business School, said: “It is great having a Staffs team compete in the Hult Prize for the first time.
“To successfully reach the London finals is testament to the students’ ability and hard work.
“I think it’s important for students to get involved in such events, but not just for their personal development or to fly the flag for the university. The Hult prize represents social enterprise and it reflects the ethos of our city and region.”