The Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team at The University of Western Australia have won the 2012 SIFE National Championships.
The team, based at the UWA Business School, beat 23 other teams from around Australia at the SIFE National Conference and Championships in Melbourne. It was the fourth SIFE UWA National Championships win in five years.
SIFE UWA's portfolio of six projects was found to best address the SIFE judging criterion, which requires that teams empower people in need "by applying business and economic concepts and an entrepreneurial approach to improve their quality of life and standard of living."
The team's current projects are targeted at empowering students; communities facing extreme poverty; people with disabilities; and, consumers.
- Balya, which cultivates microfinance enterprises in the Indigenous Jigalong community;
- ProjectTHINK, which introduces a truly environmentally friendly bag into Australia while assisting Indian women and disabled Australians;
- Mama Shujaa, which empowers Kenyan women to run their own business;
- reSHOE, which recycles shoes while assisting disabled Australians and low income Senegalese;
- The Fair Trade Pop Up Shop, which raises awareness of Fair Trade products; and
- Finance for Life, which teaches basic financial skills to students and young adults.
Dean of the UWA Business School, Winthrop Professor Phil Dolan, says, "SIFE UWA plays a vital role in allowing our students to put into practice what they learn in the classroom in a way which makes a real difference.
"We are very proud of what the team has accomplished."