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"Our economy will depend on sustainable social services and enterprises."

Now in its fourth year, Deakin University is proud to once again participate in the Big Idea competition in association with The Big Issue

A social enterprise planning competition between university students around Australia, participants are invited to develop a concept and business plan that might become the next 'Big Idea', and potentially change the lives of thousands of disadvantaged Australians.

Under the Faculty of Business and Law Work Integrated Learning program, participating Deakin students had the opportunity to complete the competition for credit towards their course.

Students pitched their business ideas to five judges in late October and two teams were selected to represent Deakin University at the Big Idea semi-finals in December.

Associate Professor Annemieke Craig, Director, Work Integrated Learning at Deakin’s Faculty of Business and Law, and one of the judges on the day, explains that we need more solutions to social problems.

‘Students who compete in The Big Idea have the opportunity to really think about these problems and come up with a solution. They work on solving this problem in a team-based environment,' she says.

Echoing this sentiment, Danya Sterling, Manager of Education Enterprises at The Big Issue and a judge of both the undergraduate and postgraduate sections, noted that at The Big Issue they believe that social enterprise is the way of the future.

‘Our economy will depend on sustainable social services and enterprises that look after disadvantaged people. It has been amazing to see Deakin students engage so well with such enthusiasm around social enterprise.'

The winner of the postgraduate division, Hamish Jones, pitched ’SE Business Services’, which aims to outsource administrative and marketing services to disadvantaged people. The winning idea of the undergraduate division was ‘Auto Paradise’, led by Satvir Singh Sekhon, which aims to employ disadvantaged people in a car wash business. 

Winners from both divisions will go on to represent Deakin University at the Big Idea semi-finals in December.

We wish them the best of luck!