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Durham University

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How Business School students are tackling global business challenges

(7 February 2020)

Our Durham MBA (Full-time) students were recently set an exciting challenge. They had to develop a business idea to address one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a blueprint for global peace and prosperity for people and the planet. Achieving the goals depends upon the active engagement of both the public and private sectors.

MBA Innovation Competition

Students drew upon their own experiences and understanding to tackle one of the SDGs in a particular country or region. The groups had a month to build and test their ideas before an experienced panel judged the final.

The winning team’s concept is an organisation aimed at the international wildlife conservation effort. Their vision is to build a future where technology can act as a bridge between mankind and wildlife, facilitating a peaceful coexistence.

WEnTech’s mission

WEnTech, the winning team of Swabir Abdulrehman, Shuang Hu, Shujie Wu and Yukan Zhao, presented an innovative blended model for sustainable applied technology and education practice designed to support African wildlife protection. Claire Rose, sponsor of the MBA Innovation Award and Durham MBA alumna, said:

“The competition showcased high quality, inclusive, long-range business innovation thinking. The panel were delighted that the teams tackled a rich variety of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Swabir took the idea forward into the Durham University Hult Prize 2020 with Bronzie Kee and won the competition. They have since been invited to participate in the 11th annual Hult Prize Regional Summit in Melbourne in April. The pair are hoping to secure the $1,000,000.00 start-up funding and business support to make the idea a functioning reality. Successful teams from the regional finals will be invited to pitch at the final in New York. WEnTech are also working on generating external interest to secure impact investment from other sources.

Find out more

Read about the Durham MBA.
Find out more about the Hult Prize Regional Summits.
Learn about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Explore the latest issue of the Business School’s magazine IMPACT, with the theme of innovation and entrepreneurship.