A University Competition
The Big Idea

The Big Idea is coordinated by The Big Issue, Australia’s longest standing and most significant social enterprise. The Big Issue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that delivers solutions to help homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people to positively change their lives.

What is The Big Idea?

The Big Idea is a social enterprise planning competition between students at participating universities. The Big Idea invites students to develop a concept and business plan for a social enterprise that might become the next ‘Big Issue’.  In 2015, a postgraduate stream of the competition will run alongside the existing undergraduate stream.

The Big Idea offers students unprecedented access to social entrepreneurs, Australian ‘Thought Leaders’ and experts across a variety of business sectors, whose guidance, advice and direction will ensure students are well placed to develop their ideas into business plans for viable social enterprise. Meet the people involved.


Congratulations to the 2014 winning team from Central Queensland University!  Their social enterprise provides temporary housing design for Australian disaster victims using recycled industrial pallets, and creates an opportunity for unemployed Australians to assist with construction.  As part of their prize, The Big Issue brought the students from Rockhampton to our head office in Melbourne in early 2015.  Check out the interview they conducted with ABC Radio National during their professional immersion experience!

Universities – Register Now!

Universities are invited to register their interest for The Big Idea. Places are limited, so please contact The Big Issue to discuss a partnership and secure your university’s place.

University staff interested in learning more about The Big Idea are invited to join our Observer Program to experience the competition first-hand. You will get the chance to meet our social enterprise experts, hear from guest speakers and get an insight into the delivery style and format of the competition. To join our Observer Program, please send your contact details to bigidea@bigissue.org.au. You can also visit the About page to find out more on this groundbreaking initiative and how your students can get involved.

For Media enquiries, please contact us on (03) 9663 4533, or complete the form on our Contact page.