Hult Prize: Ending hunger, one cricket at a time

Published: 4 April 2013

The Hult Prize competition, for example, is a self-styled Nobel Prize—or, for the more populist reader, the American Idol or X Factor—of the B-school world. (Even the funding comes from Sweden.) Attracting an impressive 10,000 applicants from around the globe, it counts both Bill Clinton and the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Muhammad Yunus, among its judges and offers $1 million in seed funding and ongoing mentoring from the erstwhile judges to the doubtless deserving winners… Moreover, the solutions are a world away from ideas usually generated on business school campuses. For example, one of the global finalist teams, from the Desautels Faculty at Canada’s McGill University, is championing the common cricket as a safe, affordable, and accessible foodstuff for the more than 200 million people who currently live in urban slums—clever, yet simple, and using a commodity easily available to the target consumer group. In the Confucian spirit of “teach a man to fish …,” they  have developed a kit that allows people to grow crickets for consumption and sell whatever is left over back to the McGill team. This provides slum dwellers with food and much-needed income.

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