According to the International Labour Organization, approximately 21 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide. Human trafficking exists in many forms – forced labor, sexual exploitation, child labor and more.
To raise awareness and combat the global issue, the annual Financial Times MBA Challenge partnered with Stop the Traffik, a global movement of activists around the world dedicated to building resilient communities and preventing human trafficking. The goal of the challenge is to bring together teams made up of MBA students to help raise awareness for the movement and its new mobile application and build bridges with the business world in order to tackle the issue.
The international aspect of the challenge caught the eye of Rady School student Leo Cai (MBA, ’17), who is also interested in nonprofits.
“I founded the Network RadyQ student club, which is the first LGBT student club at Rady School, so I wanted to be a part of a challenge that refers to the club I founded,” he said.
The entrepreneurial spirit of the challenge was enticing to Cai, who immediately got on board with the cause. In order to be eligible for the challenge, teams must have at least one member studying at a university or business school in Europe, a second in the Americas and a third in Asia or Africa.
Cai’s team – Bilkisu – is made up of six other participants hailing from UK, India and Canada. The team’s initial proposal was successful, which resulted in advancing to the semifinal round of seven.
Right now, Cai and his team are focused on developing a marketing plan and implementing a business strategy for the promotion of The STOP APP. The team’s main focus is deciding on what aspects of the application to promote, devising a marketing strategy and planning a budget and fundraising campaign.
He firmly believes that his time and experience at the Rady School set him and his team up for success.
“Lab to Market and my marketing course have been extremely helpful throughout this experience, because they have helped me apply what we work on in the classroom to the context of this competition,” he said. “The MBA Challenge has been a great opportunity for me to put my skills to the test.”
The team has until the end of August to devise a plan for the STOP app. The business proposals will then be judged, and three teams will advance to the final round.
“Obviously our goal is to win the challenge, but it’s been a great learning experience for me,” Cai said. “I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate and exercise my skills throughout this process, all while working with a diverse, international team.”