Former SJD Student in Global Refugee Challenge

A former Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College student is in line to win $1 million to help solve the global refugee crisis.

Daniel Griffiths, 20, is leading a team from Staffordshire University taking part in The 2017 Hult Prize.

Backed by former US President Bill Clinton, the Hult Prize aims to create and launch social businesses tackling major world-wide issues, with the winning idea receiving $1 million in start-up funding.

The Staffordshire students have successfully been put through to the London continental finals of the competition on 3-4 March, where they will pitch their business idea aimed at transforming the lives of women refugees in Colombia to representatives of The Hult Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.


Daniel Griffiths

Daniel said: “This is the first time Staffordshire University has entered the competition and teams have been asked to come up with a business idea to help refugees and offer them sustainable training and employment opportunities. Our idea involves setting up an ethical fashion upcycling business which will help Colombian female refugees who are fleeing sexual exploitation and violence.

“The aim of our project is to raise awareness of the often overlooked – but extremely vulnerable - female refugees in Colombia and South America – who have escaped violence and unrest in their own country to be forced into prostitution by gangs in their new homeland.

“The project will train women to ‘upcycle’ clothing to create a commercially-viable ready to wear range of clothing. We will work with retailers to take factory seconds, unsold garments and second hand clothing as the raw materials for our product range.”

The Hult Prize attracts more than 50,000 global applications each year, with former prize winners representing the world’s most prestigious universities and businesses.

Daniel added: “I am honoured to represent Staffordshire University, and the team are working hard and hoping we’ll win through to the overall final in New York later this year. I remember spending time in high school believing that I was never academic enough to do anything on this scale, so I hope our achievements will motivate others to push themselves to go out of their comfort zone and realise their potential.”

The Hult Prize Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to launching the world's next wave of social entrepreneurs. It encourages the world's brightest business minds to compete in teams to solve the planet's biggest challenges with innovative ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises