fowler business concept challenge
Elias Adams/University of St. Thomas

Social Entrepreneurship Competitions and Events Available to All Students

In the next three months, all St. Thomas students – graduate and undergraduate – have the opportunity to be part of four different events and competitions with the potential to leave a lasting impact on our world:

  • The Hult Prize
  • The Clinton Global Initiative
  • The Fowler Business Concept Challenge
  • The Net Impact Conference

The Hult Prize At St. Thomas

The Hult Prize Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to launching the world's next wave of social entrepreneurs. It encourages the world's brightest business minds to compete in teams to solve the planet's biggest challenges with innovative ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises.

Named as one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and Time magazine, the annual competition for the Hult Prize aims to identify and launch the most compelling social business ideas — start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people. Winners receive $1 million in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community.

The 2015 Hult Prize "President's Challenge" will be Early Childhood Education in the Urban Slum and beyond, as selected by former President Bill Clinton at this year's Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York. The challenge specifically asks teams to build sustainable and scalable social enterprises to address the early childhood education gap in kids ages 0-6.

Students are encouraged to form teams and join the challenge. The UST contest will take place Dec. 3. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate. Like the Fowler Challenge, this is a a great time to build cross-functional teams. Hult Prize At St. Thomas organizers will be on hand during the Oct. 16 Fowler Challenge Smore’s and More Information Session on John P. Monahan Plaza. Deadline for registration is Nov. 1.

Clinton Global Initiative

The Clinton Global Initiative University Network is a consortium of colleges and universities that support, mentor and provide seed funding to student innovators and entrepreneurs on their respective campuses.

St. Thomas has become a member and agreed to provide CGI U students with a minimum of $10,000 per year for their commitments to action. These commitments, a unique feature of the CGI U model, are new, specific and measurable student projects that address some of the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. Commitments may be made in the areas of education, the environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

Students are encouraged to learn more about the CGI and propose a project. The early application deadline is Friday, Oct. 17. The final application deadline is Monday, Dec. 1. Interested students may apply online.

The Fowler Business Concept Challenge

The Fowler Business Concept Challenge is an annual event organized by the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship focused on energizing the entrepreneurial spirit of St. Thomas students from across the university. The competition encourages students to explore their potential, search out new opportunities and use the skills and knowledge they have acquired to make a difference in the world -- and win $10,000 scholarships.

Students are invited to attend the S’mores and More Information Session at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, on John P. Monahan Plaza to learn more. Visit the Fowler website for complete information about the competition.

The Net Impact Conference

Net Impact is a nonprofit that empowers a new generation to use their careers to drive transformational change in the workplace and the world. At the heart of the organization are more than 50,000 student and professional leaders from more than 300 volunteer-led chapters across the globe working for a sustainable future. Its annual conference is Nov. 6-8 in Minneapolis, and the Opus College of Business graduate student chapter is a sponsor.

Students are invited to join the UST chapter and attend the conference.

For more information on these opportunities, available to all UST students, contact Colleen Sauter. Learn more about competitions available to students through the Opus College of Business.