Solving Early Childhood Education in the Urban Slum

The 2015 Hult Prize "President's Challenge" will be Early Childhood Education in the Urban Slum and beyond, as selected by President Bill Clinton at this year's Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York. The challenge specifically asks teams to build sustainable and scalable social enterprises to address the early childhood education gap in kids 0-6 years old. Key highlights associated with this year's education challenge:

  1. Almost 70 million children across the world are prevented from going to school each day. 53% are girls.
  2. Less than one percent of what the world spent every year on weapons is needed to put every child into school.
  3. By the age of 3, there is a 30 million word gap between children from the wealthiest and poorest families.
  4. One of the most significant economic impacts of attending an early childhood program is the long term reduction of crime costs.
  5. The social return on early childhood education can return up to 16x for every dollar invested.
  6. Global achievement gaps of 5 and 6 year olds can be eliminated through an intensive 2-year early childhood program targeted at 1-3 year olds.
  7. Total brain size is 95% of maximum size by age of 6.
  8. The U.S. lags behind almost every other country when it comes to preschool, including Mexico, Chile, and Russia.
  9. Early childhood education has a better return on investment than the stock market.
  10. 112 million children from age zero to six live in slums and do not get proper education.


This case study is your guiding document to constructing your social enterprise.  It has been written exclusively for this year's Hult Prize, and takes a deep dive into the global early childhood education crisis at an urban slum level and beyond.  Authored by innovation expert, Dr. Hitendra Patel in close collaboration with President Bill Clinton and his team, the Clinton Global Initiative along with private and public sector executives involved in the issue, the 2015 Challenge examines current business models, takes a walk through shoes of the beneficiary and provides commentary from President Clinton on where potential solutions lie.

The "2015 President's Challenge" and guiding document can be downloaded here.  An updated version will be made available upon the selection of regional finalists.