As background, the Armidale town Mall has suffered from a downturn in the regional economy with several shops and offices vacant. It has been a long-time hope that the monthly markets would re-vitalise the Mall, however, over the last 15 years there has been a noticeable decline in attendance for both stall holders and foot traffic. Enactus UNE Faculty Advisor Dr Peter McClenaghan and outgoing President of Rotary Club of Armidale AM, Mr Paul Robinson saw potential for Enactus UNE to work collaboratively to reverse this downward trend.
The initial stage of this joint collaboration is a series of surveys, compiled by both the Rotary Club and Enactus UNE, of stall holders, customers and business owners currently operating in the Mall.
To assist in ensuring our survey of the Markets in the Mall is as effective as possible the Enactus UNE team are engaging with the UNE School of Business Smart Region Incubator. Building skills for the next generation of entrepreneurs, here we have been introduced to Tim Brown and Jocelyn Wyatt’s principles of ‘Design Thinking for Social Innovation’. Using this framework, our surveys of the various stakeholders, focus on identifying the clients’ or customers’ needs.
Our surveys aim to produce high-impact solutions from a grass roots perspective rather than the traditional top-down approach. This will be achieved by working closely with the clients and consumers and maintaining an approach that is inherently optimistic, constructive, and exhibits no preconceived notions.
This project forms a part of our team rebuild, as we identify new opportunities for further projects, build bridges with potential community collaborators and help to improve the visibility of Enactus UNE for recruitment of new and enthusiastic team members.