Are you interested in helping fuel the financial future of communities? Look no further for inspiration than Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and Bachelor of Business (Leadership and Management) student Julia Weber. She’s pursuing a path that will allow her to practice social entrepreneurship.
“Social entrepreneurship is different to business in that a business is for creating profit, we want to make money,” explains Julia.
“But social entrepreneurship is about creating social impact. So you want to go into communities and solve a problem.”
And as a recipient of the University of Newcastle’s iLead global leadership development scholarship, that’s exactly what Julia was able to do. She travelled to Bandung, Indonesia, where she partnered with local community members to help them find and sustain economic opportunities.
“What that involved was going into villages and looking at how we could empower local people to start their own businesses. What skillsets do they need? What confidence do they need?” says Julia.
Eventually, they found a project where they could make a significant impact on behalf of the citizens there.
“We were able to create project plan and go into a village and assist women in that village to create their own business out of something they were already doing day to day. Producing a food product, and they were able to monetise that through the skills that we taught them,” says Julia.
“Through the skills I acquired through my commerce degree, I was in charge of educating local Indonesians about accounting…the basics of debits and credits, the importance of keeping good records, looking at business performance and where the key areas were that they could improve.”
Julia says that being in Indonesia and seeing firsthand how her work helped to change lives for the better was incredible.
“The profits from that were put towards a library for the local kids in the community. And I can honestly say that was one of the most rewarding emotional experiences of my life, when we opened those library doors, the kids ran in, and held brand new books for the first time.”
She built skills she believes will stay with her for a lifetime.
“Being in Indonesia was one of the most transformative experiences that I’ve had, because it forced me out of my comfort zone. I now know that I can walk into any room with any number of strangers, and be able to hold a conversation and find common ground with anyone.”
Today, Julia works as a Trainee Private Business and Family Advisory at Pitcher Partners. She gets excited about teaching her clients the skills to create more stable financial opportunities for themselves.
“I am extremely passionate about financial literacy. In particular, educating young people about money matters so that they can avoid debt and have a prosperous financial future.”