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Innovative Youth Challenge

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is an international non-profit organisation that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilise university students to make a difference in their communities, while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders.

As part of the SIFE movement, the 7th annual Innovative Youth Challenge (IYC) aims to spark the entrepreneurial spirit within local high school students, through the challenge of creating a real life business solution for the North Ryde Community Aid and Information Centre (NRCA).

The challenge begins

Organised by the Macquarie University SIFE team, the program involves a 1 day workshop where students are provided with coaching by academics and business leaders. They are then mentored by Macquarie University students who work with them to devise a workable solution for the NRCA to generate additional funding.

This year specifically, the challenge is for students to devise a fundraising program or event which the NRCA can implement, with the aim being to boost funds so the organisation can continue to provide their invaluable services to the elderly and people with disabilities (and their carers) within the community.

Giving back

During his years as the SIFE Academic advisor, Dr. Chris Baumann, has been able to witness first hand the benefit that being part of the IYC has had on school and university students, Macquarie University and also the wider community.

"For students, it's their chance to gain exposure and become engaged with the community. The IYC also allows them to develop their own skills in mini-consulting, whilst being able to work closely with mentors to create a real-life business solution."

For the Macquarie University students involved in the mentoring process, this is their chance to offer leadership whilst also giving back to the community.

"Through the IYC program, we are able to encourage our current students to develop their leadership skills and put into practice all they are learning at University. This opportunity for our current students not only involves the mentoring of the high school students, but also provides them with the opportunity to make a contribution to the community," Dr. Baumann adds.

Dr Baumann points out that it is not only important to teach our students the business skills to generate profits, but also to act responsibly and assume responsibility for the well-fare of society at large. SIFE is the ideal forum to get this point across.

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