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Artback NT project - Borroloola, NT My Farm Shop project - Western Creek, ACT Ungooroo Aboriginal Corporation - Singleton, NSW River Cottage project - Central Tilba, NSW

RARE: Remote and Rural Enterprise

About RARE

RARE is a community-engaged learning program, connecting postgraduate and undergraduate students at the University of Sydney with remote and rural enterprises in Australia to collaboratively complete action-research projects. The Program ensures the University's entrepreneurial activity benefits some of our more challenged communities and businesses while increasing students' social and cultural empathy and respect.

RARE projects aim to deliver practical and accessible recommendations, backed by rigorous academic literature, and market relevant data and information. Emphasis is placed on community consultation, reviewing local markets, researching best practice internationally and locally, and adapting business models to suit Australia's challenging remote environments, and socio-cultural differences. Students share their skills, expertise and time with the enterprise, while learning to manage uncertainty, multiple stakeholder demands, and the human and economic influences affecting businesses. Social and cultural empathy and respect is also developed during the two-way learning exchanges.

The RARE Program also offers fee-for-service consulting for enterprises either seeking professional quality research or who require work performed outside of the traditional academic calendar. See the For Enterprises tab for more information.

Mission

RARE's mission is to raise the entrepreneurial capabilities of students in a way that benefits remote and rural enterprises and their communities. The RARE Program aims to:

  • Participate in the initiation and development of sustainable business activity in remote and rural Australia.
  • Facilitate the development of relationships that enhance mutual social and cultural respect and awareness.
  • Provide a platform for engaged-practice enabling students to apply their knowledge and skills in a challenging context and learn from experience.
  • To initiate and enrich relationships that will support teaching, research and outreach activity in remote and rural Australia.

Examples

Enterprise

Location

Project Focus

River Cottage

Central Tilba, NSW

Understanding the social, economic and environmental impacts on the local community as an international television program enters the region and begins a long term project in the remote Narooma area of NSW.

Bana Yarralji Bulka

Shipton Flats, QLD

Planning to incorporate a visitor fee revenue model into current operations, including on-country hosting and cultural and conservation education for groups

NSW Aboriginal Land Council

Bourke and Coonamble, NSW

Business planning for rural property management including agricultural and cultural activities

My Farm Shop

Weston Creek, ACT

Business modeling to support sustainable farmers selling directly to conscientious customers

For Students

RARE Program overview

A RARE Experience offers the unique opportunity to visit a remote and rural community and work collaboratively with a local enterprise to develop an aspect of their business. Students will investigate, develop and implement sustainable business practices, adapted to the community's local socio-cultural and market needs. The experience will provide a two-way learning exchange in a rich community environment, whereby student 'world views' and societal assumptions will be challenged and enriched, and classroom learning and skills will be put to the test.

There are a variety of RARE projects available each requiring different skills sets and commitment levels. The placements will be between 5 to 7 days, with facilities and accommodation varying from swags and tents, to budget hotels depending upon the project.

Costs

RARE will cover all transportation and accommodation costs associated with student projects; however, students will be responsible for all food and additional expenses.

Credit towards your degree

To participate in the RARE Program, students must enroll in one of the below units of study. These units are available to Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Commerce, Master of International Business, Master of Sustainability and the Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Enterprise. For students not enrolled in the above degree programs, special permission to receive credit for these units can be obtained by respective program directors.

Prospective RARE projects

Enterprise

Location

Project focus

Bana Yarralji Bulka

Shipton Flats, QLD

Integrated marketing communication and operations plan to increase overall volume of visitors. Includes scoping future collaboration with indigenous tours and providers in the region.

Batemans Bay Revitalisation

Batemans Bay, NSW

Creation of a center of excellence and innovation in the Batemans Bay community to promote business collaboration, positive tourist experience, and collaborative community events.

Broken Hill Palace Hotel

Broken Hill, NSW

Development of business plans and design master-plans for the iconic hotel in Broken Hill. Projects include the design of new structure for a 2-Up venture, a new café, and strategies for rationalising the various businesses engaged by the Palace.

Broken Hill Indigenous Centre for Creativity and Excellence

Broken Hill, NSW

Design and develop an integrated Indigenous Centre that brings together multiple communities in the pursuit of education, skills training, and job opportunities.

Granite Town Festival

Moruya, NSW

Creation of a five year strategic business plan for the Granite Town Jazz, Food and Funk Festival.

Growing the Burnett

Kingaroy, QLD

Expansion of membership and increase participation in farmer training program to increase sustainability and food security of the Burnett region.

Kempsey LALC Potato Farming

Kempsey, NSW

Validating the commerciality of growing potatoes in Kempsey for Pepsi Co. This includes documenting partner contributions, designing the project plan, and creating a financial model for the enterprise.

Maranoa Kangaroo Harvest

Maranoa, QLD

Expansion of co-op focusing on harvesting/exporting kangaroo meat and combing the practice with cattle grazing rotations.

Myrtle Park Retirement Park

Yolla, TAS

Opportunity analysis for the Yolla community to raise funds through development of local businesses to fund the expansion of Mytle Park Retirement Homes.

Umbarra Cultural Centre

Akolele, NSW

Feasibility study to re-open the Umbarra Cultural Centre as a hub for the local aboriginal residents, local businesses, and wider community.

Warren Shire Economic Development

Warren, NSW

Analysis of initiatives to stimulate the local economy historically dependent on agricultural businesses.

Past RARE projects

For Enterprises

About the Program

RARE is a community-engaged learning program connecting postgraduate and undergraduate students at the University of Sydney with remote and rural enterprises in Australia to collaboratively complete action-research projects. The Program ensures the University's entrepreneurial activity benefits some of our more challenged communities and businesses while increasing students' social and cultural empathy and respect.

Examples of RARE projects

The communities currently involved with RARE are located across Australia representing a range of industries and include both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, commercial and social.

RARE projects aim to deliver practical and accessible recommendations, backed by rigorous academic literature and market relevant data and information. Emphasis is placed on community consultation, reviewing local markets, researching best practice internationally and locally, and adapting business models to suit Australia's challenging remote environments, and socio-cultural differences. Students share their skills, expertise and time with the enterprises while learning to manage uncertainty, multiple stakeholder demands, and the human and economic influences affecting businesses.

Projects include (but are not limited to) business plans, feasibility studies, information memorandums, or specific analysis of a particular issue or opportunity relevant to the enterprise i.e. analysis of particular markets, technology, business models, and governance.

For examples of past RARE projects please visit the 2013 RARE projects page.

Timing

Projects coincide with university calendar with four intakes per calendar year.

Summer Session 8 weeks 5th January start date
Semester 1 13 weeks 2nd March start date
Winter Session 5 weeks 29th June start date
Semester 2 13 weeks 28th July start date

Costs & expectations

Students will spend 5-7 days on-site/on-country with the entrepreneur (or project sponsor) during the beginning of the semester. The RARE Program will fund all transport and accommodation costs for students. The cost to the enterprise is $0. However, it is expected the entrepreneur (or project sponsor) set aside time while the student is visiting to make introductions with stakeholders, set up meetings, and make themself generally available to answer inquiries. Once students return to Sydney, they will work with the entrepreneur and ask follow-up questions via phone/email. At the end of the semester a final deliverable is submitted to the project sponsor and a phone call is set up to review recommendations with the RARE Coordinator.

RARE is not suitable for all remote and rural enterprises. The criteria for RARE projects include:

  • a real need for support, that the Program can realistically provide
  • feasible business idea with benefits for the community; commercial, social or both
  • strong leadership and vision with someone on the ground driving the daily operations and business development
  • suitable timeframe for project delivery and student learning
  • willingness to engage in a long-term partnership
  • an enterprise representative who is available to engage with students and staff for planning and review of projects

RARE research & consulting

RARE has the capacity to deliver value beyond that achievable by student projects and placements. Our close engagement with remote and rural enterprises and their communities has highlighted the need for context specific business development, learning and support. In response, RARE is also able to offer fee-for-service consulting assistance from the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program within the University of Sydney Business School.

Our consulting approach is one of collaboration and assistance encompassing the same RARE mission of two-way learning. Our aim is to ensure ownership is retained within the organisation and that community and enterprise stakeholders are continuously involved, developing their knowledge and confidence in the outcomes created through the engagement.

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about the RARE Program or would like to discuss research or student support for your activities, please contact:

Noah Stewart
RARE Research & Education - Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program
E noah.stewart@sydney.edu.au
P 02 9036 9169
http://sydney.edu.au/business/RARE

For Supporters

RARE collaborates with multiple stakeholders across government, industry, communities, not-for- profit sector, foundations, students, entrepreneurs and academics. Our diverse and expansive network contributes significant value to all RARE participants. The quality of the RARE Program is dependent upon support from external partners. Below are a few of the ways in which to get involved.

Financial support

Student placements

Funding for students can be directed to projects tailored around specific interests (e.g., sustainable agriculture, Indigenous arts and culture, or the creative industries). In addition, funding for student placements can be directed toward a specific community.

Program expansion

In 2013, the RARE Program grew and expanded its reach into remote and rural Australia building critical mass in Western NSW, South Coast NSW, Central Northern Territory, and Far North Coast Queensland. Funding is needed to cover administrative costs of the RARE Coordinator and support the continued presence and growth in these regions. Additionally, the Program is poised to expand and launch RARE International into South East Asia. To this aim, funding is needed to support international student placements and set up this regional entrepreneurship initiative.

In-kind support

Mentors

The RARE Program is seeking mentors each semester to assist students in our Social Entrepreneurship unit of study. The intent is to develop a community of mentors with diverse membership and would ideally incorporate entrepreneurs and practitioners who have experience either running a business or working closely with start-ups. Participants will provide focused skill-sets and a diversity of expertise for students to leverage in their learning.

Student professional development

In the past, students have found professional workshops hosted by corporate partners to be a valuable and complementary learning experience. The RARE Program is open to external partners providing specific skills learning which adds to the student development process (e.g., stakeholder management, project management, strategy, etc.).

Research and consulting

In addition to in-kind and financial support, enterprises can contract the RARE Research and Consulting team to complete action-research projects. The team has the capacity to deliver value beyond that achievable by student projects and placements, offering fee-for-service consulting assistance from the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program within the University of Sydney Business School.

RARE partners and supporters

8/3 Employment Service Center, Haiduong Vietnam

Partner Institution Developing Entrepreneurial Women

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

Financial supporter - 1) Developing Entrepreneurial Women in ASEAN countries 2) Australian Leadership Award Fellowship

Australian Centre for Innovation, Australia

Guest Lecture partner

Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)

Government Partner

ATP Innovation, Australia

Genesis partner and supporter

Broken Hill City Council, Australia

RARE partner for Winter School projects

Centre for Social Impact, Australia

Guest lecture partner

CVC Limited, Australia

Guest lecture partner & previous financial supporter

Desert peoples Centre at Centre for Appropriate Technology

Research and RARE Program partner

Dahrma School (Bogalay), Myanmar

Partner Institution - Grass-Root Entrepreneurship Education & Pro-Poor Enterprise Development

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
(FaHCSIA)

RARE intermediary and financial supporter

Destination NSW

Partner Institution - RARE Program

Freie Universität Berlin (Free University of Berlin), Germany

Partner Institution - developing Supporting Technologies

Eurobodalla Shire Council

Government Partner - RARE Program

Graduate School of Government, The University of Sydney

Supported EDNA Learning Program

Hanoi Business Association, Vietnam

Partner Institution - Developing Entrepreneurial Women

Hanoi Association for Entrepreneur Women (HNEW), Vietnam

Partner Institution - Developing Entrepreneurial Women

Hans Seidel Foundation, Myanmar

Previous supporter - EDNA Learning Program

University of Islamic Studies (UIN) Sunan Ampel, Indonesia

Partner Institution - EDNA Learning Program

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

Partner Institution - EDNA Learning Program & Global EMBA

Islamic Development Bank

Financial Supporter EDNA Learning Program

Lotus Foundation, Myanmar

Partner Institution - Grass-Root Entrepreneurship Education & Pro-Poor Enterprise Development

Moving Forward Together, Myanmar

Partner Institution - Grass-Root Entrepreneurship Education & Pro-Poor Enterprise Development

Myanmar Women Entrepreneurs Association

Partner Institution - Developing Entrepreneurial Women

Patriotic Association of Myanmar

Partner Institution - Grass-Root Entrepreneurship Education & Pro-Poor Enterprise Development

NSW Aboriginal Land Council

Partner Institution - Local Aboriginal Land Council Economic Development and Research

Thyne Reid Foundation, Australia

Financial supporter - RARE

Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA)

Financial supporter - StrategicFrame & Partner in sourcing RARE enterprises

Synergy Networks, Myanmar

Partner Institution - Grass-Root Entrepreneurship Education & Pro-Poor Enterprise Development

University of Battambang, Cambodia

Partner Institution in Developing Entrepreneurial Women

Vietnam National University - University of Economics & Business (VNU-UEB)

Partner Institution - Developing Entrepreneurial Women & EDNA Learning Program

Vietnam Women's Academy, Vietnam

Partner Institution - EDNA

Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, Australia

Financial Supporter - RARE

VIVID Festival of Ideas

Partner Institution in Supporting Technologies

WRAYS, Australia

Supported Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program with legal advice

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about the RARE Program or would like to discuss research or student support for your activities, please contact:

Noah Stewart
RARE Research & Education - Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program
E noah.stewart@sydney.edu.au
P 02 9036 9169
http://sydney.edu.au/business/RARE

Testimonials

Student Feedback

"The Community Engagement visit to Eden and surrounds was absolutely brilliant. It created a context and allowed a deeper understanding of the needs, agendas and feasibility in regards to progress and possibilities. RARE was very helpful and within the scope of the project, it exceeded my expectations." ¿¿¿ Nick Hislop, Masters of Sustainability Student, Bundian Way

"The RARE program was real world and allowed me to balance my theoretical learning with my practical business experience. The project allowed me to explore a different cultural perspective and better understand social attitudes towards indigenous communities as well as how a business like Murrin Bridge operates in that community." - James Rickman, Masters of Economics Student, Murrin Bridge Winery, 2013

"The Social Entrepreneurship unit as a whole and the Gulaga RARE project in particular has added considerably to my understanding of the unique issues and barriers Aboriginal communities face in accessing employment and/or becoming self-employed." - Humair Ahmad, Masters of Public Administration, Gulaga National Park project

"We had a true immersion experience, living and working with the enterprise owner for 4 days left us with a wealth of knowledge. This course opened my eyes to the social sector, particularly the shift towards economic sustainability through earned revenue activities." ¿¿¿ Sarah Cooper, Masters of Commerce, Growing the Burnett project

Enterprise Feedback

"The Narooma Next Community Planning team would like to thank the RARE Program for assigning such a high caliber and competent student to assist with our project. We have no doubt that her skills and dedication will greatly contribute to our project success and we look forward to continuing our relationship with RARE." - Matt Deveson, Cath Peachey & Paul Dixson of Narooma Next Leadership Team

"Working with the RARE Program was a very worthwhile experience and the feedback we received from the students was invaluable. Through discussion and research, the students provided thought-provoking ideas and concepts which helped us explore the best path forward. We will take the insight gained and confidently proceed with our plans to create an Alternate Learning Centre." - Dean Wilson, CEO of IN-SteP

"Due to the nature of the project the field visit to Bourke was reasonably demanding; however, the RARE students were very thorough and given the time frame and the breadth of information they had to absorb I was pleased with their efforts. It was refreshing to receive their input and the program helped me to consolidate my solutions." - Phoebe Maroulis, Founder of BioEnergy

"Your students have been very impressive; intelligent, engaging and well-educated. They have been very responsible and hard working and are a credit to your program. They've understood us, challenged us, informed us and inspired us. We've learned a great deal from them and with them." - Sue Ogilvy, Co-founder of My Farm Shop

"For someone familiar with strategic planning sessions and the effort that goes into preparation and delivery of such workshops, I was thoroughly impressed with the Remote and Rural Enterprise (RARE) Research team. Prior to the workshop, the RARE Research team discussed how our session would evolve on the day and we agreed on outcomes and expectations we wished to achieve. They did an exceptional job leading the Narooma Next leadership group, spending long hours in a very short timeframe to gain consensus on a path forward. I am grateful for the successful outcome of this workshop and would recommend the RARE Research team to any regional business community looking to formalise their vision and grow economic opportunities from within." - Paul Dixson, Narooma Next Leadership Team