Student marketeers support launch of social enterprise

8 Aug 2013
Student marketeers

A social enterprise which helps restaurants to raise money for charity is launching in Australia with support from advertising students at UQ Business School.

BAMGAM – Buy a Meal, Give a Meal – already has operations in San Francisco and South Africa and is now launching in Brisbane. Groups of students competed to pitch their marketing ideas to BAMGAM, with the winning team being offered an internship to put them into practice.

Using the BAMGAM system, each time a customer orders a specific item on the menu, the restaurant donates money to BAMGAM, which in turn passes it on to a children’s charity. In Australia BAMGAM will be supporting ACT for Kids and Variety Australia.

Natalie Frost, who led the winning presentation to BAMGAM, said the project had been a ‘fantastic experience’. “It allowed us to apply our current education in the masters program directly within the industry,” she said. “I am honoured and excited to work together with BAMGAM and my group to incorporate elements of our recommendations.”

Michael Eales, co-founder of BAMGAM, said the exercise had provided valuable insight. “The recommendations and discipline applied to the project proposals from student teams have enabled us to determine a direction to take with greater confidence and clarity.” The five-strong winning team will now be working with BANGAM on the Australian launch.

BAMGAM is one of a number of social enterprises which have been working with advertising students. Others were the Sandlewood Op Shop, GIVIT Kids, Spinal Injuries Association Queensland, Brisbane Youth Services, Buffed, The Flower Project and The Pyjama Foundation.

Louise Shellshear, whose team won the competitive pitch for the Sandlewood Op Shop, a second-hand store in Moorooka that gives to the community, says she will now be working with the shop to restructure its website and optimise its social media. “It was a great opportunity to create a proposal for a real organisation,” she says. This project taught us how to tailor advertising needs to a specific organisation as well as work within the constraints of a limited budget.”

The advertising students involved included both undergraduate and postgraduate students from UQ Business School. Dr Nicole Hartley, who runs the courses, said: “These projects are the first of their type to be offered to advertising students at both levels and we have had a very positive response. They allow students to gain hands-on experience in a real-life organisation. Hopefully they also provide valuable input for the social enterprises taking part.”