Melbourne Business School News We're offering 25 scholarships to help the social purpose sector recover

We're offering 25 scholarships to help the social purpose sector recover

A new range of scholarships will help breathe life into Victoria's social purpose sector after COVID-19.

Announcing the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust-MBS Social Purpose Scholarships

The Helen Macpherson Smith Trust-MBS Social Purpose Scholarships will offer full subsidies for 25 leaders in the social purpose sector to take part in a short course at Melbourne Business School during 2022, including on the:

The scholarships are part of a long-standing collaboration between Melbourne Business School and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, one of Victoria's most respected and generous charities.

Melbourne Business School Dean, Internal, Professor Caron Beaton-Wells, said the new scholarships were designed to help social purpose leaders meet the challenges of rebuilding after COVID-19.

"With the increasing pressure placed on social purpose organisations, it is imperative that they can innovate, adapt to changing economic, social and political contexts and develop and sustain revenue streams," she said.

"It's our hope that these scholarships give social purpose leaders the help they need to meet these challenges, without having to worry about the financial burden of extra study."

HMSTrust Chair Catherine Walter and CEO Debra Morgan said the scholarships were well timed to support the sector's post-pandemic recovery.

"HMSTrust is delighted to partner with MBS to support social purpose leaders in this complex and challenging time," they said.

"The critical needs of the social purpose sector have never been more apparent. We have witnessed the agility and innovation required of our grantees to continue to serve the needs of our communities."

The new scholarships are available to managers and leaders within the social purpose sector who can participate in an eligible short course during 2022. To apply, visit the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust-MBS Social Purpose Scholarships page.

New research report

The scholarships also come in response to new research showing that conditions in Victoria's social purpose sector have pushed some organisations to breaking point.

Melbourne Business School Associate Professor of Marketing Jody Evans and Associate Professor Kerrie Bridson of Deakin University conducted the study Peddling Ever Faster: A Needs Assessment of the Victorian Social Purpose Sector (PDF, 606KB) over a three-year period from 2019 to 2021.

The project included consultation with more than 160 service providers, charities, community organisations and social enterprises of different sizes, in a range of social purpose domains across Victoria.

It found these organisations are facing a complex and turbulent operating environment, with increasing challenges which have only been intensified by COVID-19.

"The social purpose sector has responded to the growing and changing needs of our community with a sense of commitment, agility and innovativeness that should be the envy of the corporate sector," said Associate Professor Evans.

"However, at the same time, they are fighting for funding, to retain their burnt-out staff, to be heard by government – and in some cases, for survival.

"On top of that are the challenges that all organisations face in supporting their employees through this period of disruption."

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