Students from the School of Entrepreneurship have conducted a four-week virtual exchange with the Fine & Performing Art department at Morgan State University to develop impactful social enterprises.
Community Art at Morgan State University (in Baltimore, Maryland) is a ‘service-learning’ course, combining service in the community with academic learning objectives and reflection. As such, students were asked to create a business model that would create positive social change. Working in teams, they examined case studies of the social enterprise business model and developed a social enterprise concept, proposal and prototype of a product line.
The conclusion of the project saw students from Morgan State assessing the business models created by Falmouth’s students. Having their business models viewed by peers overseas allowed students to reflect on their work in different ways, refreshing their perspectives on business and encouraging new approaches to their studies.
As part of the exchange, students gained valuable business insights from a variety of guest speakers who work in the sector before creating their own business plans.
Among the speakers was Nav Sawhney, creator of the Washing Machine Project. Nav was inspired to create his product – a manual washing machine – after witnessing his neighbour struggling to handwash all of her clothing whilst staying in Southern India. His business has now established international partnerships and aims to alleviate the burden of handwashing clothes globally.
We saw everything from the sponsored canoe trips to raise money for St Lukes, digital projects to raise LGBT awareness, a project that sought funding for an autism support group and even a student who visited schools to talk about the circular economy.
Students studying the Social Action Project module at Falmouth were challenged to solve a similarly ‘wicked problem’ with their business plans. Sue Langford, Academic Partnerships Manager for the School of Entrepreneurship, was blown away by the variety of student projects.
“We saw everything from the sponsored canoe trips to raise money for St Lukes, digital projects to raise LGBT awareness, a project that sought funding for an autism support group and even a student who visited schools to talk about the circular economy.
“Two students have been awarded money by our employability service RealWORKS for their projects, which really affirms the quality of their work. One student team has even decided to stay together after the module to further develop their business ‘Nutrify’, which seeks to educate young people on the importance of nutrition in the face of unrealistic body standards.”
Given the range of projects still ongoing, we’re excited to follow the students as they embark on their social enterprise journeys.