The Big Idea 2018 Kicks Off

12 June 2018 The Big Idea

The Big Idea 2018 Kicks Off

The Big Issue’s national university immersion program and competition, The Big Idea, is officially underway for 2018.  

University students across Australia will take part in the semester-long course and put their entrepreneurial skills to the test.

The Big Idea, available at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, works with teams of students to develop their social enterprise or social business plans that tackle an area of disadvantage.

Over the semester, students will learn from social entrepreneurs and thought leaders including Daniel Flynn, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Thankyou, Janelle Hopkins, Chief Financial Officer of Australia Post, and Jeremy Blackshaw, Managing Partner of MinterEllison.

These experts provide guidance, advice and direction to help students turn their ideas into viable business plans that deliver strong social outcomes.

The Big Issue team also offers insights into the daily operations of a social enterprise.

The program culminates in a competition where leading teams will pitch their ideas to a judging panel of Australian business leaders. The winners receive professional immersion days with The Big Issue and presenting partner PwC.

Universities taking part in The Big Idea 2018 include Australian Catholic University, Central Queensland University, Edith Cowan University, La Trobe University, Macquarie University, Monash University, Murdoch University, Queensland University of Technology, RMIT, Swinburne University, University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales and Victoria University.

For The Big Issue, The Big Idea is an opportunity to educate and engage the next generation of social innovators and leaders.

Last year a record 550 students from 13 universities developed almost 150 business plans, ranging from coffee carts to hemp farming to 3D printing.

Steph Huang won the postgraduate category of The Big Idea 2017 with Homegirls, a social enterprise that employs refugee women to make high-end accessories.  

Since then, she has officially launched her startup, sold out her first collection and is collaborating with an international organisation.

Above: Steph Huang at The Big Idea awards nights in 2017

“Coming from a background in science, I had zero idea about launching a startup or running a business, so entering The Big Idea really pushed me to challenge myself,” Steph says.

“Being part of The Big Idea gave my venture validation, resources to propel my project forward and a strong support network.

“I would highly recommend entering The Big Idea, it's definitely hard work, but all the best things in life are, and you'll definitely walk away with more than you were expecting.”

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