Business for Social Impact

What is Business for Social Impact?

Business for Social Impact aims to engage students in an authentic experience that will provide them with an opportunity to develop a more empathetic understanding of diverse communities and cultures. This deeper understanding will develop their capacity to contribute ethically and responsibly in the socially, culturally and linguistically diverse world. Students will critically reflect upon their experience, relevant graduate attributes and employability competencies through a progressive assessment process.

Who can apply?

This unit is available to undergraduate and postgraduate students, who are eligible use a WIL unit towards their degree.

This unit requires students to apply for a pre-approved faculty or university program. On successful application, students will be enrolled in either MWL305 or MWL705 by the Faculty WIL team. Students cannot self-enrol in this unit.

Please see approved programs below for further details and how to apply.

Approved programs

Social Impact Projects

Social Impact Projects are an immersive learning experience for students. In these programs we challenge students to develop a concept and plan for a not-for-profit or community organisation that will create positive social or environmental change.

Participation in a Social Impact Project will give you:

  • Practical experience in developing a concept into a workable business or project plan
  • A first-hand look into developing and running a social enterprise
  • Valuable employability skills such as problem solving, leadership and self-motivation
  • An opportunity to hear from a guest speaker who has experienced disadvantage

You will work in multi-disciplinary teams of 3-6, collaborating in a professional environment to develop an integrated response to the project. Throughout the program, you will be supported by an academic supervisor and have opportunities to engage with a range of industry experts, plus guest speakers who have experienced disadvantage to build and then apply your knowledge. You will be involved in client-focused teamwork that will help develop intercultural communication, leadership and teamwork skills, which are all the top essential graduate attributes.

2023 program offerings: T1 (online) - Zoos Victoria Conservation Project, T2 (online) - The Big Issue Project

Click here for further information and how to apply

Regional Study Tour - Deakin Warrnambool

This is a two-week intensive program based at our Deakin Warrnambool campus. Student teams of 4-5 will work with a local regional business on an industry project with a social or community focus. Students will also be engaged in a range of local activities, academic and industry sessions before presenting their project findings to the client on the final program day.

Accommodation and planned activities will be provided by the Faculty WIL team. WIL and travel grants may also be available to support student travel expenses.

Limited places are available on this program.

Dates: 2 weeks full-time, October-November 2023
Location: Deakin Warrnambool Campus
Unit: MWL305 or MWL705 Business for Social Impact, T3 2023


The DeakinTALENT FreelancingHUB is an exciting and innovative work-integrated learning initiative designed to develop work-ready graduates. The FreelancingHUB offers internships within a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural team, developing solutions for not-for-profit or community organisations. Each project team is assigned an experienced industry mentor/project manager.​

The FreelancingHUB gives interns an opportunity to explore working-for-self as a professional freelancer within a co-working space whilst developing key employability skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. Internships are open to students across all study areas and Campuses including the Cloud.​

2023 program offerings: T1, T2, T3

Click here for further information and how to apply directly to the HUB

Unit details and eligibility

Please visit the University Handbook for further unit information and key trimester dates.

It is your responsibility to ensure that taking a WIL unit contributes towards your course requirements, and will not prevent you from meeting your course rules. Please contact Student Central if you are unsure.

Key dates and FAQs

T1 applications open 9 January 2023 and close 5 February 2023.

T2 applications open 8 May 2023 and close 11 June 2023.

T3 applications open 4 September 2023 and close 8 October 2023.

  • Whilst MWL305 and MWL705 are offered in every trimester, please be aware that not every program will run each trimester.
  • Program applications will typically open and close the trimester before. I.e. You must apply for a T3 program prior to the end of T2.

Frequently-asked questions

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