Students grab opportunity to tackle real world problems

Supporting an important initiative (from left): Education dean John Loughran, Grameen Australia chairman Peter Hunt, MSDI director Prof Rebekah Brown, Law Faculty dean Bryan Horrigan and MADA deputy dean Diego Ramirez-Lovering. Picture: Liz Bacchetti (MSDI)

By CONOR ROSS

Leave No-One Behinda competition to address inequality, has challenged student entrepreneurs from Monash University to propose a social business capable of making a real world impact.

Partnered with Grameen Australia and run by Monash’s Sustainable Development Institute and the Humanities Faculty, teams will compete for cash prizes totalling $60,000 by designing an enterprise that tackles an area of social disadvantage.

Chairman of Grameen Australia Peter Hunt said Australians needed to engage with social issues despite being a relatively well off country.

Conor Ross talks to participants in the Leave No-One Behind project. 

Social businesses are “now a global movement and is growing every day”, Mr Hunt said.

Successful entrepreneurs joined hundreds of keen students on August 3 at Monash’s Clayton campus as part of the Kick Start Conference where they spoke about their own social enterprises.

Social businesses have been popularly used for environmental sustainability and poverty prevention but “the room for creativity is unlimited” Humanitix co-founder, a social enterprise ticketing platform, Joshua Ross said.

To combat rising rates of youth homeless, Rebecca Scott founded Streat, a cafe chain that supports and is run by disadvantaged youth.   

Students discuss ideas and mingle with entrepreneurs at the launch event. Picture: Conor Ross

“Homelessness is not just about a lack of a home, these people are simply unable to sustain themselves,” Ms Scott said.

Students will submit short form proposals this week and winning pitches will be announced in March 2018.