Regional finalists

AMERICAS - Fabián Martínez

University of Sussex

Fabián is the founder of PuntajeNacional, one of the largest educational platforms in Latin America, with more than 40 million views of its free education videos. Many of its students are in remote areas where there are difficulties in accessing quality educational materials. Fabián's team is supporting the Ministry of Education in working with more than 1,200 schools nationally, and received the SME of the Year Award, granted by the Chilean Government. Fabián is also a Chevening alumnus.

EAST ASIA - Apisit Tunsakul

University of Glasgow; University of the Arts, London

Apisit is the Managing Director of Asia Fertiliser and Rice Mill Company Limited. He is responsible for the process of growing Asia Koshi organic rice, and works closely with farmers in southern Thailand to create jobs and improve rural people’s livelihoods. This work led to the development of a gluten-free rice flour, and eventually the initiation of a non-profit co-operative with a group of volunteers who organised workshops on the risks of allergens.

EUROPE - Ernest Jenavs

University of Manchester

Ernest is the founder of Edurio, an educational technology startup that has helped over 1000 schools in Latvia, the UK, South Africa and elsewhere to better understand and improve the quality of their education, beyond traditional indicators. Ernest has also served on the board of the Latvian Startup Association, helping draft startup-friendly legislation and designing strategy for the Latvian startup ecosystem. Ernest frequently brings the startup voice to EU and global policy debates.

MENA - Fouz Al-Sabah

King’s College London

Fouz is the founder and Managing Director of Khaleejesque Media and Crowd Creative House. She has developed dynamic content-driven platforms that engage creative professionals and promote the creativity and culture of the Gulf region. With a decade of experience, she now uses her research, networks and skills to raise awareness about the creative economy in Kuwait and to help develop it nationally. Fouz was the first Kuwaiti woman to participate in a prominent knowledge summit in 2018.

SOUTH ASIA - Mamunur Rahman

Institute of Development Studies; University of Sussex

Mamunur is the inventor of a low-cost sanitary towel made from leftover clothing materials. Ella pads are made by women to address the needs of the four million women in garment factories who lack access to sanitary towels, aiming to reach 35 million women and girls across Bangladesh. Mamunur's model reduces absenteeism, promotes social mobility and supports environmental sustainability, and has received global attention, including that of UN agencies. Mamunur is a Chevening alumnus.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA - Funkola Odeleye

University of London, Worldwide

Funkola is the co-founder, COO and Executive Director at DIYlaw, a legal technology company that provides accessible and affordable legal services for individuals and businesses in Nigeria. Through their innovative platform, offline events and free legal resources, Funkola's team have empowered more than 35,000 people and formalised over 500 businesses, and won prestigious awards in recognition of their services. Funkola has been named one of Nigeria’s 100 most innovative persons in technology.

WIDER EUROPE- Ayan Aliyeva

Bangor University

Ayan is the CEO of A-Level Education Group, a provider of international education preparation programmes in Azerbaijan. Ayan's UK studies enabled her to expand her business from two schools to six tutorial colleges and education abroad consultancies, and inspired her to integrate special needs students into mainstream classes. Her introduction of continuous professional development methods has also proven a success, and she now provides training for Aptis, TESOL and CELTA.