“We’ve been involved in many amazing partnerships with start-up to mature organisations across Australia, and the world, as they seek to bring about positive change through innovative solutions,” explains Peter Graves, Manager Social Enterprise Hub, Torrens University Australia.
Last year’s satisfied real-world clients included Kathmandu, Tech for Good, Viva Mutual, 42 Adelaide, India Accelerator, Giverly, Linking Futures, Hands on Art, Mid Murray Landcare SA, Palliative Care Queensland, and Myoni.love.
“2022 was an incredibly successful year,” said Peter. “It’s a win-win situation for all parties. The efforts of so many committed students, staff and clients have been outstanding.”
The Social Enterprise Hub consistently receives good feedback from clients and students
Now entering its third year of operation, the Social Enterprise Hub is where employability and social impact collide. By aligning with the university’s Certified B Corporation status, and guiding mission to Be Good, the Hub takes what our students learn in the curriculum into like-minded organisations with strong social missions.
Last year the Social Enterprise Hub helped achieve goals and affect positive change for fifty clients, a collective effort from industry, academics, and Business, Design, Education, Health, Hospitality and Technology students.
“The Social Enterprise Hub and associated projects bring together the capability and smarts of our students and academics to help with world changing solutions that are being driven throughout this innovative growing sector,” added Linda Brown, CEO and President, Torrens University Australia.
The work integrated learning projects undertaken in 2022 related to core service areas of cloud, data analytics, customer experience, marketing and event management, program evaluation, design and creative technology, accounting and social media. Each project was delivered through live briefs, Social Enterprise Hub projects, competitions, academic research and consultancy projects.
In September 2022, at the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) in Brisbane, the Social Enterprise Hub launched its Social Exchange initiative. will develop an ecosystem for social enterprise, showcasing the mission and ethics behind each business, as well as social impact and values. One way to showcase is through video content.
Social Enterprise Hub delivers high value outcomes to a variety of clients
Often a project is a student’s first introduction to the social enterprise approach to a business. For those students, the Social Enterprise Hub is an eye-opener to purpose driven businesses.
Abbey Sheather, Bachelor of Film and Video Design alumni, was grateful for her experience creating a video for Fruit2Work, a not-for-profit social enterprise creating meaningful employment opportunities for people impacted by the justice system, allowing a life reset, and a return to society.
“I thought it was amazing. I interviewed three participants who had been in the justice system previously and are now working with Fruit2Work. They're all very, very appreciative of the platform they've been given, and the opportunities,” said Abbey, who was also involved in content creation for Viva Mutual and 42 Adelaide.
Fruit2Work also benefitted from a collaboration with business students.
“The web analytics project provided useful insights into whether we were getting value for money from our digital marketing spend and pointed out clear areas of focus,” said Rob Brown, Chief Chance Creator, Fruit2Work.
“The presentation from students was well coordinated and concise allowing us to make clear decisions about our future investment in digital marketing.”
Yarene Song produced an engaging documentary for Coffee Brigade with the support of Flynn Graham. Coffee Brigade is a social enterprise that provides nutrition and connection every day of the year for anyone in need in Brisbane.
Our Health Sciences students rigorously evaluated the reach of Bright Futures and Dorcas Creation’s social development project in Kenyan Maruri slum, Nawiri Mama. The project provides employment opportunities, psychosocial skills, and health support to local mothers and carers with children with accessibility needs.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” said Jack Snelling, Chief Executive Officer, Bright Futures Child Aid & Development Fund Australia.
“We can now demonstrate to donors and potential donors its effectiveness, but more importantly make improvements to increase the project’s impact and effectiveness,” adds Jack.
Hannah Schenscher, a Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) alumni, secured an opportunity as a Marketing Assistant at Rapid Enterprise Development (RED) Program working right alongside the Head of Marketing. She managed, created and designed social media content, and assisted with logo development. This invaluable experience led Hannah to launch her company, Social Show.
Social Enterprise is embedded into curriculum
In 2023, the Social Enterprise Hub will continue working with industry consultants, academics and enterprise partners to source and scope suitable projects and live briefs. The university has embedded Social Enterprise Hub projects into curriculum, and students can gain credit towards their qualifications.
The focus is currently placed on students studying Bachelor of Business Event Management, Bachelor of Commerce Accounting, Bachelor of Business Information Systems, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Business Information Systems.
The Social Enterprise Hub’s social impact partnerships for 2023 are already impressive
This year, a project with Transport for NSW - NSW Government is already underway with an analysis of regional economic and community data to identify priority needs and opportunities for repurposing of government railway assets.
The university has also established an agreement with MYOB, a provider of accounting software solutions. In the longer term, the university seeks to partner with MYOB and help their own Social Enterprise clients leverage the software’s features and functionality.
Dr Hayden McDonald has led discussions with MYOB and has a broad vision for the project. He has no doubt that Torrens University is positioned to become a leader in providing social innovation education.
“The pedagogical practices we are developing at Torrens University and implementing via the Social Enterprise Hub are truly revolutionary,” said Dr McDonald.
“Students are working with Social Enterprise Hub clients to deliver projects that have a tangible impact on their own careers while also benefiting local and global communities.”
The Social Enterprise Hub partners with Research and Viva Mutual
This year, the Social Enterprise Hub commenced The VIVA Mutual Model: Futuring Healthcare Provision mixed methods case study led by Professor Ros Cameron, Director Centre for Organisational Change and Agility (COCA).
“We value the opportunity to collaborate with the Social Enterprise Hub in undertaking social impact research projects such as the Viva Mutual one,” said Ros Cameron, Centre Director COCA. "We are also excited about partnering with Social Enterprise Hub to implement COCA’s Social Entrepreneurship Research Initiative in 2023.”
If you are an industry partner who would like to work with us, please get in touch with the Social Enterprise Hub team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org