Over the past 3 months I have been working with Whitiriea students on their final year Applied Entrepreneurship project. Their challenge was to understand the Sub Urban model and then put together a set of recommendations on how to grow Sub Urban based on other examples of community economic development internationally and locally.
They reported back on their initial findings back in October and to be honest I wasn’t impressed. And I made that clear to the students.
One of our key objectives at Sub Urban is to reflect the wonderfully diverse nature of our suburbs in our co-working space.
I saw a particular strength of the Whitiriea team was in their fresh attitudes and the international cultural perspective that they brought to their approach. Being from China, the Philippines and Indonesia meant approaching the project quite differently - and this was missing in their initial report.
The research into possible funding for Sub Urban was also lacking in understanding of the fact that Sub Urban was mainly run by volunteers. Needless to say I wasn’t expecting that much when they turned up for the presentation of their final report. (sorry guys)
I love being surprised.
After a few months of delving into the non-mainstream world of commutiy-led development they came back with recommendations that were well thought out, relevant, practically do-able and the best bit - they are volunteering the do some on them.
I love it! Imagine what we could achieve in our communities if everyone that came up with business improvement suggestions offered to carry them out as well?
So next year keep an eye out for promotional material translated into Chinese, Phillipino and Indonesian, connections with different cultural business groups and some cool promotions and events!
Many thanks to Ze, Ginny, Vianca and their lecturer Olkan for their work on this project.
Kathleen from Sub Urban