Innovation and entrepreneurship may sound like activities for a start-up based in a garage, but these qualities are the catalysts for growth and success in a business, regardless of its size.
There is a notion that innovation and entrepreneurship are about uncovering brilliant ideas, however, Febe says her experience in the Master of Commerce program has made her realise the importance of identifying existing problems and coming up with workable solutions.
“There needs to be a fit between what we propose and the need of the customers,” she says.
Growing up in Indonesia, Febe wanted to find out whether innovation and entrepreneurship could be a driver for economic growth for young people.
“It’s important to help the youth because they are the next generation of leaders,” she says.
“I want to help entrepreneurs grow their business in a sustainable way, which can contribute to the social and economic development of a country.”
A winning combination
Febe’s ability to draw on her theoretical knowledge and apply it to an existing problem won her first place in the IXL Innovation Olympics Fall 2018, the world’s largest innovation consulting competition. In a team with five other UNSW students, Febe was assigned to help a Colombian-based client, Universidad Industrial de Santander, achieve their vision to be one of the top three universities in Colombia.
“The skills I obtained from studying the Master of Commerce really helped in developing the product idea,” she says.
“We won because the client felt our solution as innovative but also workable. The degree does not just provide us with theoretical understanding, but also plenty of hands-on experiences to apply what we’ve learned throughout the course.”
Potential employers have also been impressed by Febe’s experience.
“The degree literally increased my chances of getting hired,” she says.
“I got a couple of job offers from LinkedIn, which I have rarely experienced before. I also applied to work casually as a cook in a start-up but when the founder learnt I am pursuing a degree in innovation and entrepreneurship, she offered me an internship to work for the business development and now I am working there.”
Responding to the changing workforce
The world of work is rapidly changing, and according to UNSW Business School’s Professor Chris Jackson, there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur.
“If you have a dream or a vision then having your own start-up is a good way to fulfil that dream,” he says.
The Professor of Business Psychology says the problem is that most start-ups don’t succeed.
“We want to make sure that students can create the right environment by giving them the education, knowledge about finance and networks they need to thrive.”
A hub of innovation
Prof Jackson sees Sydney quickly becoming a city where innovation and entrepreneurship are not only celebrated, but also cultivated.
“Start-ups have the power to succeed and change the world,” Prof Jackson says.
“I see Sydney as a hub of entrepreneurial start-ups – we are going to lead the world in starting new, successful businesses.”