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Sustainable Business Challenge and the 3 UCG finalists

14 March 2023

The 2023 edition of the Sustainable Business Challenge ended last week. 5 UCG students participated and 3 of them made it to the Final. Fanny Kleilein's team was a runner up (second position) and has been invited by the judging panel to present their idea for an app to the United Nations.


The Sustainable Business Challenge is a cross-university initiative bringing together students from six Universities: Bath, Liverpool, Groningen, Newcastle, Cape Town, and Amsterdam. Participants with the help of advisors work on a real-world sustainability challenge set by the UN SDG Action Campaign and Action for Sustainable Development. Participants work in cross-university, interdisciplinary teams to develop a proposed solution to the challenge.


This year the event took place online between 2 and 6 March, 2023. This was the fifth year for the challenge. The challenge started with an insightful presentation about the SDGs by Marina Ponti, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign and Oli Henman.

The SBC was hosted by Bath University and involved over 140 students from the 6 different universities. The Challenge presents a prompt to students to work together in consultation with business advisors in proposing a solution relative to the UN's seventeen Sustainable Business Goals. 2023 marks a halfway point toward the goals of 2030. Thus the prompt was How can we enhance awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals amongst university students at this critical, mid-way point?

Students had only 5 days to work on their idea and develop a pitch that could impress the panel of judges, which they did brilliantly. Together they practiced skills such as commercial awareness, creative innovative thinking, problem solving and flexibility.

Six UCG students participated to this year's challenge: Elisa Claps, Fanny Kleilein, Alicja Mizeracka, Elena Compas, Matilda Murphy and Paul Grosse-Leege.

Three were members of the finalist teams and they will be given the opportunity to present their proposal to the United Nations.

Student experience

Elisa Claps said of her team's idea:

Our proposal for the Sustainable Business Challenge was to institutionalize national SDGs Student Teams, made up of different committees each focusing on a group of SDGs. This would be an opportunity for students to meet and organize events for their peers such as pub quizzes or guest lectures, to discuss and/or take action toward the SDGs!
I’m very happy with our proposal and pitch, and the way the international team contributed to it! I found the challenge very engaging, fast-paced, and a great opportunity to meet other passionate peers, to practice innovative thinking and pitching, and of course to further explore the UN SDGs.
The 6 universities worked together on the SBC
The 6 universities worked together on the SBC
Last modified:17 March 2023 5.21 p.m.

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