Mr. Ahmad Ashkar is the Founder and CEO of the Hult Prize Foundation – named by TIME Magazine as one of the top five ideas changing the world. Ahmad specializes in entrepreneurship, innovation, new market entry and global expansion. He is one of the world’s foremost experts in crowd and venture philanthropy.
Since founding the Hult Prize in 2009, he has led the growth of the initiative into the world’s largest millennial start-up movement for social good with established offices around the globe, hundreds of campus chapters in over 130 countries and strategic partnerships in place with President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. He has pioneered an alternative model of giving centered around the development of robust start-up pipelines focused on transforming business minds into change agents for sustainable impact and innovative funding structures. Through the power of the Hult Prize hub and spoke university network, the Hult Prize is able to cultivate and build a whole new era of entrepreneurs that are disrupting at the intersection of doing good and doing well through custom tailored development of businesses which are impact centered, profit minded and market driven. The Hult Prize has been called “the Noble Prize for students” and its portfolio of start-ups includes trailblazers in food security, healthcare, education and clean water.
Ahmad also serves as an adviser to family offices, private and government sector entities across the Middle East and Latin America, where he consults on economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, innovation, crowdscience, social entrepreneurship and endowments. An expert in youth unemployment and crowded urban spaces, Ahmad is a recognized authority in his space and has been profiled as a social innovator by Harvard Business Review and has been distinguished as one of the top CEOs in the Middle East, recently appearing on the cover of the May 2015 issue of Arabian Business.
He has regularly appeared as a coach and speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative, World Economic Forum and other notable gatherings. He has appeared on Al-Jazeera, Bloomberg, CCTV, CNN, CNBC, FOX, MBC and other major media outlets world-wide and has been profiled by leading publications in the Americas including, US, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico, Middle East and across Europe and referred to by Gulf News as “one of the future leaders of the Arab Youth.” in a front page feature. Most recently, the Boston Globe recognized Ahmad and the Hult Prize as one of the top companies in their annual “Game-Changer” report.
As a Palestinian-American, Ahmad serves as an independent advisor to the municipality of his hometown of Tulkarm, West Bank, where he is also an active entrepreneur. Ahmad has founded multiple companies, arranged a series of public private partnerships and developed groundbreaking, action and impact based educational programs. He serves as an advisor / board member to several companies across the tech, food, wellness, leisure and hospitality sectors. He is also a resident adviser to the economic development department of George Mason University and is a guest lecturer at Georgetown and the Hult International Business School – where he earned his MBA in international business and was the 2015 alumnus of the year.