UQ students applauded for their Big Idea

15 Jan 2014

A group of undergraduate students from The University of Queensland were amongst the finalists of a national university competition rewarding social enterprise.

The UQ Business School sponsored team were one of five, selected to present a social enterprise idea to a panel of Australian business leaders as part of The Big Issue’s 2013 ‘Big Idea Competition’.

The student team, consisting of Patrick Tunney, Alexander Robinson, Divya Viswanathan, Jessica Page, Sanjay Hettige and Zachary Tan, travelled to Melbourne to pitch their big idea to the likes of Telstra’s Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Penn; former Democrats leaders Natasha Stott Despoja and Cheryl Kernot; and The Big Issue CEO, Steven Persson.

Their social enterprise idea, 'Scrubs', was based on a mobile car washing service that would deliver flexible working conditions for disadvantaged people, and which would provide subsequent grants and scholarships to employees to further their education.

Dr Nicole Hartley, a Lecturer in Marketing and a team mentor, said “The students did a great job and were highly commended for their proposal by all Big Idea judges. In fact, they will be meeting with one of the business leaders in the coming months to see how they can make ‘Scrubs’ a viable social enterprise. I congratulate them on their achievement.”

The group was selected to compete in the Big Idea competition as a result of a University-wide contest facilitated by UQ Business School mentors and judges: Associate Professor Neil Paulsen, Dr Nicole Hartley, Dr Lance Newey, Dr Robyn King, Dr Tim Kastelle, MBA mentor Chris Rivers, and Volunteering Coordinator Cerian Morris.