Undergraduate students assist leading not-for-profit with new business venture

6 Jul 2016
Winning students with Daile Kelleher

UQ Business School students recently presented to St Vincent de Paul executives as part of the assessment for undergraduate course Hospitality Small Business Enterprises (HOSP2003).

The students presented three different ideas in a series of ‘pitch’ presentations for the pending Vinnies Café; following the presentations the executive panel provided feedback that informed the student’s final business plan.

St Vincent de Paul State Area Manager, Daile Kelleher said working with UQ Business School students was an extremely beneficial experience for Vinnies Queensland.

“This is an exciting social enterprise project for the Vinnies team and the innovative ideas and research conducted by the students chosen to participate will assist in moving the project forward. As a non-profit, the work conducted by the students was an invaluable resource,” she said.

The winning concept was announced Friday, 24 June at Sumner Park, the proposed location for the new Vinnies café.

Students Tayla Stephenson and Nina Gardiner were awarded first prize for best business plan and presented ideas that are most likely to guide the opening of St Vincent de Paul’s first food service retail venue.

Tourism expert and Senior Lecturer Dr Gabby Walters said the course and assessment allowed students to acquire the necessary knowledge and then apply it to a real world business venture.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for UQ Business School tourism students to apply the knowledge they acquired in the classroom to a real business scenario. This initiative also enabled students to contribute to a tremendously worthwhile social enterprise designed to create training and employment opportunities for the underprivileged and long term unemployed,” she said.