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The Big Issue The Big Idea

Business Competitions and Projects

100 students. 10 startups. 6 weeks.

Applications are now closed.

The University of Sydney Business School has partnered with to give our students an opportunity to get involved with a start-up or social enterprise over the Winter break. is empowering individuals to explore career aspirations through short-term remote experiences.

The program will run from July 1-August 5, and students will be working remotely with start-ups across Asia. You will have the opportunity to develop skills in business, marketing and technology, as well as joining a global community of innovators, entrepreneurs and creatives.

Benefits of the program

Improve your Employability

  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Problem solving, analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Business acumen

Build your network

Meet a global community of like-minded individuals and connect through the exclusive communication platform and weekly webinars hosted by industry professionals.

Get training that matters

Access online toolkits and training material curated by team that help you gain better insight into your project industry and role.

Application process


Apply via the website

Applications will open on May 23rd and close on June 17th, 2016. The Business School is not involved in the recruitment process; students will be selected by

Get matched

The team will assess and match you to an innovative business based on your skills, background and personal goals.

Take off!

Once you've been placed, spend 6 weeks accelerating your career with exciting opportunities and connecting with like-minded people. You will work remotely, in teams with other University of Sydney Business School students.

Upon completion, will give students a recommendation or LinkedIn reference.


Can I pick my project?

On your application you can choose industries you would like to learn or skills you want to shine. You will be matched with a team to a business in that area to solve real business problems collaboratively, creatively and resourcefully.

How much time will it take?

You will spend 5-10 hours per week across a bunch of activities. You could be completing some training or collaborating with your team. Projects have been designed to cater for anyone with existing full-time commitments, be it studying or working full time.

How can I get matched with the best project for me?

The more information you provide in the application, the better the match that can be made. If you are concerned about your resume or application, visit the Careers Resources on Blackboard for information about resumes and cover letters.

Do I need experience?

Experience can be useful but is not essential. This is not a regular internship. You will be challenged to help small companies solve big problems. Be bold and bring your creativity and determination to help them fight.

How do I know whether I have been accepted?

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will contact you within 1-2 weeks to confirm whether you’ve been matched to a team. Early applications will have a much higher chance of getting matched with their top preferences! The University of Sydney Business School is not involved in the recruitment or matching process.

Can I count the project as internship hours towards my degree?

At this stage, projects will not count towards your degree. It is an extra-curricular project.

Have another question? 

For related enquiries email

The Big Idea

The University of Sydney Business School has teamed up with The Big Issue, Australia’s longest standing and most successful social enterprise, in a unique inter-university social enterprise competition – The Big Idea.

Apply your business skills and creative thinking to develop a social enterprise idea that has the ability to change the lives of thousands of homeless and disadvantaged Australians.

Postgraduate and undergraduate students from all degrees and all faculties are invited to compete against teams at University of Sydney and 11 other universities. Teams will pitch against other postgrad or undergrad students at Sydney with the winning teams in both streams pitching against teams from other participating universities.

Information sessions

Learn more about social enterprise and The Big Idea Competition at our info sessions:

  • Thursday 28 July, 12.00pm to 1.00pm, Seminar Rm 2020, Abercrombie Building H70
  • Wednesday 3 August, 3.00pm to 4.00pm, Seminar Rm 3310, Abercrombie Building H70

Why get involved?

The Big Idea is more than just a competition. Here are some of the benefits in getting involved:

  • Hear from our ‘Thought Leaders,’ influential Australian leaders, informed and passionate within their field
  • Learn from our Social Enterprise experts and practitioners, who will share their hands-on experience of working in social enterprises
  • Attend exclusive workshops on business development and entrepreneurship
  • Learn more about social enterprise in Australia
  • Develop real-world business-planning skills
  • Be in the running for prizes including an iPad and professional immersion days at The Big Issue

What is a social enterprise?

The Big Issue’s working definitions of social enterprise and social business will be those which students work towards in their Big Idea projects. Students will be able to enter the competition with either a social enterprise or a social business plan.

Download information about the definition of a social enterprise for the competition

Important information

  • All University of Sydney students are eligible to take part – both undergraduate and postgraduate, and from all faculties
  • You MUST enter as a team (between 2 and 6 members) and ALL team members must be all undergraduate or all postgraduate (no mixed teams, sorry!), but the team members can be from ANY faculty (with at least one business student on your team)
  • Individuals who are interested in taking part but do not have a team MUST attend a networking event to form a team with other individuals, and then register as a team.
  • You must be prepared to commit to the duration of the competition which will commence in week 3 of semester two with the Sydney finals taking place in October
  • You must be available to fly to Melbourne (costs covered by the Business School) for the finals on 29 November

Further information

For questions about The Big Idea, email

Univative Inter University Competition

Further details available on the University's Univative webpage.

Sydney Genesis

Sydney Genesis is the University of Sydney cross-faculty start-up incubator program. Each semester more than 100 student enrol in the program, getting access to weekly workshops, one to one mentorship with outstanding entrepreneurs and business leaders and pitching opportunities. Visit the Sydney Genesis Startup Program webpage for more information.