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Alibaba Business School Calls for Digital Solutions during Covid-19

Alibaba Business School is calling for young people around the world to help combat the Covid-19 crisis, launching its first-ever global challenge to have university students find digital solutions to help businesses, individuals and institutions during and after the pandemic.

The school was established by Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma in partnership with Hangzhou Normal University to cultivate the next generation of global entrepreneurs. In 2018, it launched the Global E-Commerce Talent Network, also known as the GET Network, as a way to further share insights and empower youths in the digital era to create positive business and social impact.

For the school’s first GET Global Challenge, participants must compete in teams of three to five people. The challenge will be hosted in 13 countries and regions – including the African continent, China, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand and Uzbekistan – and at least 100 teams are expected to register. Selected teams will have a month to develop their concepts and will go through the national qualifiers before moving onto the World Final in August.

“The pandemic is fast becoming a generation-defining moment, especially for the incoming class of talents. We have collectively risen to the occasion with digital tools invented and repurposed to limit and mitigate the difficulties faced, and there is no better time to get our future talents to lend their creativity and digital savviness in helping the world to recover,” said Zhang Yu, Alibaba partner and vice president.

Participants are encouraged to think outside the box, and winning ideas will be picked based on their level of social impact, feasibility, sustainability and scalability, according to the GET website. While submitted solutions should address immediate problems posed by Covid-19, the GET Global Challenge encourages participants to create concepts or business models that will have continuous impact across different communities. Teams are also expected to outline the resources and support needed to make their ideas come to life.

To facilitate learning and growth during the competition, Alibaba Business School will invite certified experts, industry professionals and e-founders to deliver online sharing and training sessions via DingTalk livestream. Discussions will cover a wide range of topics, such as the landscape of the digital economy, best practices in content marketing, financial planning, data analysis, pitching and various case studies in local platform operations.

“We have seen examples of how digital transformation can play a key role in reducing day-to-day struggles, improving work productivity and quality of life. We hope the challenge will spur the creation of even more life-changing solutions not just for now, but for the future as well,” said Zhang.

At the end of the challenge, six finalists will win cash to support their new ventures. They will also be invited to the GET talent bank to connect with mentors, investors and business opportunities. The prize for first place also includes a fully sponsored learning excursion to Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou.

The GET Global Challenge will work with local partners from each host country, such as the African Leadership University, China Campus Network, Atomic88 and ITS Management Sdn Bhd, to identify young talents and great ideas in need of funding. According to Alibaba Business School, there are plans to expand the challenge to more countries in the future.

Click here for more information or to register for the competition.

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