Swinburne students are making a social impact and working towards the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, as part of Business Without Borders Swinburne.
The volunteer association is run by student volunteers who work to ensure members are career-ready through the development and delivery of social impact projects.
Recently, the group was involved with Project Hope Horse Welfare Victoria (Project Hope), which has helped thousands of neglected and abused horses.
Project Hope applied for a grant from the Victorian State Government’s requiring community votes to be successful.
Business Without Borders Swinburne developed a social media campaign to drive awareness of Project Hope's cause and encourage the community to vote for them to receive the grant.
“Our greatest success was through delivering emotional storytelling posts – in particular, a post related to Project Hope horse Ben,” says Business Without Borders Swinburne leader and mentor Alison McDowell.
“Ben’s story is one of severe neglect and malnutrition before being rescued by Project Hope and being rehabilitated, helping him to find his forever home. This post was our most successful, reaching over 5,000 people.”
Overall, the social media campaign increased Project Hope’s social media post reach by 1300 per cent.
Ben was supported by Project Hope to find his 'forever home'
“The campaign provided the organisation with significant learnings on how to better use social media in the future, and the importance and value of emotion and storytelling to connect with and educate their audience.
Board Member of Project Hope, Susan Smith, says Business Without Borders Swinburne helped empower the organisation to tell their own stories.
“Not only did they develop our social media strategies, they also educated and empowered the committee so we can now implement these learnings into the future,” says Ms Smith.
“There has also been an increase in awareness and support of the organisation, as well as the rehoming of a number of horses, directly attributable to the Business Without Borders Swinburne campaign.”
All activities and initiatives undertaken by the group work towards supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - a set of 17 goals supported by Swinburne.
Other activities the group has been involved in recently include:
- Supporting the premiere screening of Global Citizen’s ACTIVATE documentary
- Preventing youth homelessness by raising funds for Kids Under Cover with the support of Rotary Club of Camberwell and the local community
- Raising the TripAdvisor ranking of Project Y Frozen Yoghurt social enterprise in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where profits fund secondary and university education for Cambodians.
Business without Borders students raised funds for Kids Under Cover with the support of Rotary Club of Camberwell.
A student perspective
Students involved in the group have not only made an impact in communities but have themselves gained valuable experience.
“I wanted to use the skills I learned to help the community and also get some experience to help me on my journey to the workforce,” says Bachelor of Business student Erik Lopez-Kos.
“While being involved I have worked on a number of client projects and learned a range of skills such as project planning and management, teamwork, communication skills and time management.”
Swinburne alumni and current Business Without Borders Swinburne mentor Sam Tea credits the group with allowing him to make a difference.
“Being a volunteer for Business Without Borders Swinburne allowed me to give back to the community by working on social impact projects that really made a difference,” he says.
“The experience I gained and the connections I made have been invaluable in helping me seek permanent employment in corporate strategy.”