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Impact Entrepreneurship Night for Inspiration and Taking Action

14 November 2018

On October 11, the MSc Social Innovation and Sustainability and the S&O Center hosted the Impact Entrepreneurship Night, an event aiming to foster social entrepreneurship. Some 80 members of the HEC community, along with representatives from participating organizations, gathered in the Hall d’Honneur for the opening speech given by MSc students from the Hult Prize Organization. As part of their plan to bring the Hult Prize – the world’s largest entrepreneurship competition – to HEC, these students encouraged their peers to become change-makers in society. For the 2019 edition of the prize, competitors must find a way to provide meaningful jobs for 10,000 young people. Following this call to action, a number of organizations spoke about their own work in the field of social entrepreneurship. 

Impact Entrepreneurship Night

Gawad Kalinga

Gaward Kalinga is an NGO aiming to eradicate extreme poverty for 5 million families in the Philippines by 2024. It has teamed up with FriendChips, a sustainable snack food brand whose sustainable chips are made from sweet potatoes and bananas. 18-year-old Angelica, a community farmer and project manager for FriendChips, spoke at the Impact Entrepreneurship Night as part of her tour of France, during which she hopes to spread the word about the project and its involvement in the Gawad Kalinga movement. 
Plush and Play, a social enterprise offering safe and environmentally-friendly toys hand-stitched by women living in Gawad Kalinga communities, also took part in the event. By providing these women with a sustainable livelihood, Plush and Play allows them to send their kids to school every day in Bulacan. As a result, its work will improve the lives of at least two generations of Filipinos living in underprivileged areas. 

Konexio

Konexio provides global training in digital literacy, soft skills and coding. Its goal is to provide disadvantaged groups, notably refugees and migrants, with professional opportunities, in an attempt to accelerate their long-term integration. Konexio offers beginner, intermediate and advanced (ECDL) classes in order to fight digital exclusion and provide state-of-the-art learning solutions, made possible by more than 2,000 volunteer engagement hours.
These were among the social enterprises encouraging HEC students to support organizations that prioritize the social impact of their work, and subsequently to understand that they have a large role to play in this gradual evolution, as potential business leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. With this in mind, each partner of the Impact Entrepreneurship Night ran a booth as part of a Q & A and networking session that saw a high level of student engagement. Not only were students eager to learn more about the likes of FriendChips and Konexio, but they also began forming teams for next year’s Hult Prize. Their immediate interest in a competition targeting youth unemployment suggests that this event helped them to appreciate the importance of social entrepreneurship in today’s society.


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