The Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC) proudly announced that its students were placed 2nd in the ‘Babson Collaborative 2021 Global Student Challenge.’ Each year, the Babson College Global Student Challenge engages students from around the world to compete in a feasibility analysis of a new business concept that addresses the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year, a record 215 teams from 16 countries, each comprising 2-4 master’s-level students, participated in the Global Student Challenge.
On 25 May, team BikeWay emerged as the 2nd place winner. The team comprised four brilliant MBSC students: Layla Albassam, Lamees Alharthi, Mohammed Alhulayyil, and Abdulrahman Alzamil. Their celebrated idea revolves around using technology and data to develop an innovative solution enhancing the overall cycling experience in cities, addressing the United Nation’s third SDG of ensuring healthy lives, and promoting well-being at all ages. The details of the innovation are not being released to the public until after the winners receive in-depth consultations from experts on their business model through the scholarships they have earned to attend the Babson Academy program.
In a statement, MBSC’s Executive MBA student Layla Albassam said: “We created a solution that will encourage people to go outside, to have a change of scenery, and promote outdoor sports and physical activities. I want to sincerely thank my teammates who have put in enormous effort in developing this solution, and also thank MBSC for allowing us to have this amazing opportunity.”
In an earlier stage of the competition, MBSC partnered with the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Saudi Arabia Office to raise awareness among the participating students of the SDGs on ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The UNDP’s Saudi Arabia Office offered an SDG workshop as well as business experts to mentor students and help them apply their skills of identifying an opportunity that could ultimately result in the creation of a new for-profit or nonprofit venture.
Commenting on the announcement, H.E. Fahd Al-Rasheed, the Vice Chairman of MBSC’s Board of Trustees and President of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, said: “It is always wonderful to see MBSC being recognized internationally, but it is especially heartening during this difficult year to see its students achieve such a high standard, competing on sustainability innovations with students from around the world. MBSC students, graduates, faculty and administration take great pride in the recognition they have earned, and we salute all the teams that participated. This global recognition showcases MBSC’s bold mission of excellence in entrepreneurial mindset and critical thinking to advance real-time solutions in the Kingdom and worldwide.”
Dr. Zeger Degraeve, the Executive Dean of MBSC, said: “We are pleased that the Babson Collaborative 2021 Global Student Challenge culminated in profound success, as our student teams presented unique and well-founded business concepts. The competition and our partnerships with acclaimed international organizations such as Babson Global and UNDP represent MBSC’s ongoing commitment to building a new generation of leaders capable of transforming societies and economies. By offering our students the opportunity to develop concepts addressing SDGs, the challenge has furthered our efforts to foster global citizens who can take on large-scale challenges facing the world.”
Haya Al-Dajani, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director, Signature Learning Experience at MBSC, said: “As a world-class education center that strives to achieve excellence, MBSC is constantly exploring hands-on and experiential learning opportunities for students. The prestigious challenge offered our students an excellent platform to gain valuable insights into major issues facing humanity, work with experts in different fields and conceive future business concepts.”
Manar Alsaleh, a student at MBSC and a member of the ‘Collaborative 2021 Global Student Challenge’s Organizing Committee at the local phase, is extremely thrilled to have played a part in the competition’s hosting. She said: “It is a privilege to be a student at MBSC that offers exceptional learning and networking experiences. The Babson competition provided us a global stage to hone our skills, practice critical thinking, and apply our knowledge to real-world problems. We are confident that our teams will showcase excellent performance on the global level.”