It takes a special kind of determination for a student to give up their weekend to learn all about socially responsible entrepreneurship, but that’s exactly what 134 students did for the 2016 Impact Conference.
Seeking to provide students with an educational and inspirational introduction to social enterprise, the Impact Conference was held over three days and featured both high school and university students.
Griffith University proudly waved the entrepreneurship flag as platinum sponsors for the event, which saw students network and workshop their own social enterprise ideas, as well as listen to inspirational keynote speeches from successful entrepreneurs.
When Griffith’s Dr Timo Dietrich heard about the Impact Conference, he couldn’t think of a more perfect partnership for the socially-conscious university.
“It’s a perfect marriage,” he says of Griffith University’s sponsorship of the Impact event. “We’re talking a social enterprise that’s committed to giving back in whatever shape or form the business is set up.
“We want to make the world a better place,” he explains. “If we are true to ourselves with building that at the University, we need to start doing it on a daily basis. I thought, ‘If we are about developing these globally responsible leaders, then we should sponsor this conference every year.’”
Dr Dietrich says the events are a great opportunity for students to create lasting business contacts in a socially responsible forum, and emphasised it was one of these connections that led to Griffith’s involvement in the event in the first place.
“It’s all about networking and making sure we connect with people, because the people you might be sitting next to in that audience, the people that you’ve spent a whole weekend with, might be the future leaders.”
Griffith University student Murooj Yousef was one of those potential future leaders.
As a business student who’s passionate about making change in the world, she thought attending the conference made sense.
“There are a lot of communities and a lot of individuals that need support or need help,” she says. “I think we as entrepreneurs or potential entrepreneurs can help with ideas that help and at the same time maybe raise awareness to the market in general.”
Yousef says she loved working together with a diverse group of students to create their own socially responsible business idea.
“Everyone there was so energetic and wanted to generate ideas and work on them,” she explained.
She also says it’s an excellent environment to speak with professionals who have already had success in the world.
“The keynote speakers were very approachable, so I’d encourage future attendees to go and talk to them, and learn from them.”
Impact Conference organiser Sean Tran is thrilled with the results of this year’s event.
“What we are trying to do at impact is to create opportunities to connect professionals with young people who want to start their own social enterprises,” he says. “Our key motivation is to provide not only those connections but also the skills that are needed to create your own social enterprise.”
And he couldn’t be more pleased with how their objective has been achieved.
“One of the questions we ask attendees is: ‘What do you feel you got out of it?’ The majority indicated that they felt they made connections they will pursue in the startup and social enterprise field,” Tran said.
“And every conference attendee indicated their knowledge about social enterprise and the process of making a business model had improved for them over the weekend, which is great to see.”
If you’d like to get involved in any future Impact events, be sure to keep tabs on them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/impactsocialenterprise