January 23, 2019 – Department of Management and Marketing, of the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics (FBAE) at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) hosted its chapter of this year’s Hult Prize Foundation competition¬. The Hult Prize Foundation has been a benchmark competition for social entrepreneurs since 2012, and is the “world’s greatest peer-to-peer network for social good.” Yearly competitions start at the local level, followed but the support of an accelerator at the HULT castle offered to the winning teams who go on to join the regional and international levels of the competition. NDU’s Hult Prize Challenge 2018/2019 was managed by Dr. Souha Abdelnour, Assistant Professor FBAE, along with a student organizing team lead by Jana Basbous, Campus Director. A workshop was held on the 6th of December 2018 to better prepare the participating students. Students from different faculties across NDU joined in teams of three to five, to present their projects to a panel of judges comprised of:
- Ghada Fadel: Head of SME Planning Unit at the Relationship Department, at BLOM Bank.
- Jawad Haidar: Founder, CEO and CTO of Heatechs, and winner of National Hult Prize challenge, 2017/2018 ($250,000).
- Dr. Hassan Younes: Co-founder and Managing Partner of Insights’ for Consultancy and EON Training and Development center.
- Rana Matar: CEO of Trade & Made and Co-Manager of Ritex, a sleep and home wear manufacturer and exporter.
- Nassib Maalouf: CEO and Founder of M.TASK, a Catering and Quick Food Service company. Founder and President of EO Entrepreneurs Organization - Lebanon Chapter since 2016.
The winning projects were as follows:
- First Place: Team De-Tech-Tives, comprised of Elias Ghaleb, Elias Rahmouche, Kevin Hani, and Inas Al Ahmadieh, with their startup “XP,” an online platform that connects the user to companies and tracks their work experience as earned points.
- Second Place: Cave des Ours, an apple winery and Arak distillery, presented by Elia Beainou, Kenny Daou, Habib Akiki, and Stephanie Doumet, with the goal of alleviating Lebanon’s apple crisis, and providing jobs to the country’s disabled population.
- Third Place: Team Arrow, comprised of Elie Gharios, Maryam Nsaif, Mario Khalil, and Ralph Sakr, with their startup “Mellon,” a regional and internationally-minded online platform for young people to act as tour guides of their local area.
The students’ passion for their projects and for making a difference in their lives and others was palpable. All teams said they felt the impact of a job market in recession and wanted to do whatever they could to redress the balance, and this was reflected in their projects. All three winning projects were directly concerned with facilitating job acquisition, and two of them featured job creation as central themes.
Each of the winning teams were awarded credit compensations of three credits per student for the first prize winners, two credits for the second , and one credit for the third prize winners respectively.
Congratulations to Elias Ghaleb, Elias Rahmouche, Kevin Hani, and Inas Al Ahmadieh, and best of luck in the national competition.