Urban Slum Education Concept Wins Million Dollar Hult Prize 2015

The room at tonight’s Hult Prize ceremony was filled with luminaries in the fields of business, sustainability and politics. Nobel prize winners, prime ministers, and CEOs were a dime a dozen. But, at the end of the day, anything associated with the Clinton Global Initiative is about smart people who are trying to solve real problems. Tonight’s winner? A group from National Chengchi University in Taipei called IMPCT.co whose PlayCares concept aims to revolutionize the way kids in urban slums receive care and education.

The problem:

Among myriad other concerns, early childhood education in slums is poor at best. Often it barely exists at all. Parents endure long commutes and seldom have a reliable, safe place for their children to stay while they try to make a living.  The Impct.co group began looking at this problem with the assumption that any solution would have to be integral to the existing community, and indeed be run by the community if it was to be sustainable.

The solution:

The team developed PlayCares, a franchised daycare facility which can be owned and operated by a local entrepreneur – typically a woman with children.

 The facilities feature a classroom, a Montessori-style teaching system and enough support for about 20 families and their children.  To fund the PlayCares, Impct is looking to individual investors – people like you and me – who will actually receive a small return in exchange for funding new PlayCares.  It’s what Impct refers to as a “purely positive investment cycle with our radical profit-sharing model.”

 

The concept has already won the support of an initial Indiegogo campaign as well as that of a variety of NGO partners and will be well worth watching as a creative, and profitable solution to a whole set of very serious problems.

The Hult Prize is an annual million-dollar business plan competition among global universities that awards one start up idea per year on a specific topic of global social importance.  In addition to a million dollars in seed capital, the winner receives mentorship and advice from the international business community.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Get a team together for next year!

Image c/o @hultprize twitter team