Three Monash student teams are amongst the winners of this year’s Leave No One Behind social business competition, including a platform that connects refugee students with employment; a social enterprise facilitator for African youth; and an initiative to make public venues safer.
The winners were selected from seven teams who presented at a final pitch event last week.
Leave No One Behind - a collaboration between Monash Sustainable Development Institute and the Humanities, Arts and Social Science Faculties (HASS) – supports students to develop and test a social business idea that improves social inclusion in Victoria.
The program has a specific focus on teaching students about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Following a successful pilot last year, Leave No One Behind received more than 100 applications in 2018. Twenty-five teams were selected to take part in an eight week incubator program over semester two, consisting of weekly workshops and mentoring.
Following a semi-final pitch, seven teams were selected to present at the final event to a room full of staff, students and guests. The judging panel included the General Manager at Fitted for Work Amanda Carlile, the Program Manager at YGAP Simon Lee and the Executive Director and co-founder of Emzingo Group Ramon Marmolejos.
Students from the winning teams come from each of Monash’s HASS faculties – Arts, Law, Education, Business and MADA – demonstrating the important contribution of humanities training to innovation and entrepreneurship.
Program Manager Dr Lara Werbeloff said the quality of pitches clearly demonstrates an appetite for social entrepreneurship among Monash students. “Entrepreneurial talent can be found in all parts of Monash, and it’s fantastic to see our HASS students harnessing their critical and creative thinking skills to address local social inclusion challenges.”
More broadly, Leave No One Behind is focused on developing entrepreneurial skills and interdisciplinary collaboration across faculties.
“The whole process – from ideating to presenting – gives students an opportunity to learn crucial skills in problem solving, innovation, and pitching, as well as working effectively in interdisciplinary teams” said Dr Werbeloff.
“It’s been really encouraging to see such passion and talent emerging from students.”
MSDI will continue to work with our finalists as they further develop and scale their ideas.
Two teams from this year’s program, Foster Dreamz and One Love, were also selected to represent Monash at The Big Idea, a national university social enterprise competition, coordinated by The Big Issue.
Safe Spaces: Helping people to feel safer in Melbourne by creating a platform that promotes and assists venues to have customer safety as a priority. Carly Paterson (MADA), Bree O’Keefe (Business) and Muru Chen (Business)
CREATE: A social enterprise established to support refugee students access employment. Ali Khan (Arts/Law), Ali Shizad (Engineering), Ali Nazari and Karen Dunwoodie (Education)
One Love: A social enterprise facilitator helping African youth to develop sustainable businesses for positive community impact. Ahmed Gamal Elshiekh (Business), Nibrass Hassan (Business), Irimiya Arigu Emmanuel (Business) and Xiaoya Yang (Law-JD)
Foster Dreamz: Creates opportunities for foster children, supporting them in pursuing their dreams, achieving their goals and creating a better future through extracurricular activities. Louisa Chiam (Arts/Business), Justyna Cyza (Arts/Science) and Jenny Tran (Arts)
Growing: A platform that provides tools to help students build confidence, motivation and resilience by transforming students into life-long learners. Nicole Tang (MADA), Vrenchesca Salim (Business) and Alberta Grid (Business)
Second Skin: Aims to reduce cosmetic waste by giving used makeup a new home. Sudeshna Rajapakse (Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences) and Mi-Thao Bui (Business)
Project Ai: A playful way to become your own best friend and re-train and rewire your brain for a positive mindset. Zeying Li (Alumni-Business), Elva Zhang, Feifei Liao (Alumni-Business) and Anna-Lyse Fazio (Business)