Indian student entrepreneurs triumph at Enactus World Cup

A group of young Indian entrepreneurs has won the 2017 Enactus World Cup, a competition which brings together students and business leaders from across the world to showcase the social impact of their entrepreneurial action.

The winning team of 60 comes from the Saheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, part of the University of Delhi. The team's venture, Udaan, seeks to bring the benefits of modern-day technology to deprived parts of rural India, employing women as operators in its 15 computer learning centres.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, spoke at the World Cup. He told the room of young entrepreneurs: “You are darn lucky to belong to the 2% of the world population that is educated and financially independent. What I like about Enactus is that you have realised that you belong to the 2% and have put yourself to the service of the 98%." 

It is time to move beyond corporate social responsibility, continued Polman. “By outsourcing parts of your value chain, you cannot outsource your responsibilities. Liberty cannot go without responsibility.” 

More than 72,000 students from 1,730 universities across the world entered the World Cup, which is organised by the nonprofit Enactus and supported by KPMG. 36 teams were selected to represent their country at the event, held in London from 26 to 28 September.   

Each team was selected following 12 months of intense national competitions in which they impressed judges with the positive social impact of their entrepreneurial projects. 

The World Cup brought together 3,500 competitors, academics and business leaders for a three-day festival, which included a global cultural fair, discussion forums between business leaders and young entrepreneurs and an awards ceremony. 

Unilever won the Enactus Global Champion award, while the Global Alumni winner was Zimbabwean entrepreneur Wilford Mwanza.

The event culminated in a final round of competition in which four remaining teams – Canada, Puerto Rico, Kyrgyzstan, and India – delivered 17 minute pitches detailing their business successes and plans to a panel of judges. 

Enactus is an international nonprofit organisation which provides platforms for teams of university students to create community development projects. The World Cup was established in accordance with their belief that ‘competition encourages creativity and rewards results’. 
Photo credit: Enactus