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MCom graduate listed in Forbes Asia 30 under 30

10 Apr 2018

A Master of Commerce alum has been listed in the world-renowned Forbes Asia '30 Under 30' for her work providing remote Pacific island communities with better access to sustainable economic development opportunities.

Australian-Fijian Litia Kirwin is the Founding Director of Loving Islands, an NGO that aims to strengthen the environments and cultures of the Pacific islands.

“Working within the ‘social enterprise’ space has been nothing short of complex as we constantly seek the balance between financial, social & environmental outcomes that lead to a viable and progressive means of doing business in the future,” said Ms Kirwin.

Ms Kirwin participated in the Remote and Rural Enterprise (RARE) Program while at the Business School, before graduating in 2015. RARE gives students the opportunity to complete practical research projects in rural communities.

“Litia attributes her success in bringing about real change in her community to the skills that she learnt in Business School Rural and Remote Enterprise Program,” said Professor Leanne Cutcher, the Head of the Discipline of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“This is testament to the program’s focus on building entrepreneurial skills in our students that will enable them to enact social change,” said Professor Cutcher.

RARE is part of the recently formed Discipline of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which Professor Cutcher describes as a “collaborative group at the intersection of strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship which will produce practical, actionable knowledge”.

The Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list features 300 young innovators and disruptors across 10 categories. They are selected based on nominations and an “A-list” judging panel.

“It is truly an honour to have our work recognised and listed among such an inspiring calibre of young individuals and companies that have vision and courage to start making moves and paving the way for our generation,” said Ms Kirwin.

Loving Islands has worked with the U.S. Embassy’s Regional Environment Office in Suva, the United Nations Development Programme and others to reach over 300 individuals from remote communities, helping them generate thousands of dollars in new income and protect over 5,000 acres of land through organic land management guarantees along the way.

The NGO provides remote island communities with grassroots training, mentoring and market-access assistance to improve their capacity to take meaningful ownership of their livelihoods in ways that regenerate and preserve their natural environments.

“My greatest thanks to our Project partners, the communities we work with and the many friends and advisors that have lent their support along the way,” said Ms Kirwin.