2019 Winner of the Capstone Editing Conference Travel Grant for Postgraduate Research Students

We are proud to announce Ms Alex Richmond as the recipient of the 2019 Capstone Editing Conference Travel Grant for Postgraduate Research Students. She will be attending two prominent Social Enterprise Research Institute conferences in the United Kingdom: The 7th EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise in Sheffield, England, and the 2019 ISIRC in Glasgow, Scotland.

Alex is an international student at the University of New South Wales undertaking her PhD research in the field of public health and community wellness, under the supervision of Dr Anne Bunde-Birouste. Her thesis is titled ‘Exploring sustainable funding mechanisms in sport for social change organisations’. Her research highlights that sport represents a universal language that may be wielded as a tool to initiate public health reform and achieve global development objectives, ultimately enabling communities to break their cycle of disadvantage.

Alex has an outstanding record that demonstrates her expertise in the field of public health, sport and global development. She currently works as a research assistant at Common Goal, a pledge-based charitable movement organised by Streetfootballworld, for the football industry. Alex delivers capacity-building workshops on the topic of social enterprise, which focus on social business modelling and pitching to more than 20 NGO directors in targeted regions of the Streetfootballworld network. Her extensive experience and prior research present Alex as a knowledgeable and dedicated individual who has much to offer in her field.

With the Capstone Editing Conference Travel Grant for Postgraduate Research Students supporting her, Alex can attend both the EMES and the ISIRC and use each conference to build a greater network of social enterprise experts to support her learning. This opportunity will form part of her research, and next year she will deliver and share what she has learned regarding how social enterprise is conceptualised within a transnational field such as sport.

An overview of Alex’s PhD research can be found below.

Alex’s research:

The purpose of Alex’s research is to explore the antecedents, capacity and development of sustainable funding mechanisms that are used by Sport for Development and Social Change (S4D/SC) organisations. This field uses sport as a ‘transformative tool’ to yield a positive influence on society’s public health. These organisations are typically plagued by the inconsistency of capital support, such as philanthropy, aid and grant opportunities. In light of this, Alex’s research aims to safeguard the sustainability of Sport for Good organisations’ financial survival by exploring the capacity of social enterprise models within this field. This research aims to assist the continued development of S4D/SC as a direct response to the call of the United Nations Action Plan on Sport for Development and Peace to enhance and secure sustainable funding mechanisms, investment and resource allocation.

Alex’s thesis is in collaboration with Streetfootballworld and the Common Goal Social Enterprise Assist Team to develop a social enterprise capacity-building platform. This platform educates and empowers members of the network to engage in sustainable funding mechanisms that are responsive to their unique and nuanced cultural and social reality.

Grounded in the principles of ‘realistic evaluation,’ the proposed research takes a systematic approach by using qualitative methods and a 5-Phase Case Study to explore the current state of philanthropic funding and business strategies that contribute to S4D/SC’s survival. The case study encourages an integral understanding of the nuances of varying realities that organisations within the Streetfootballworld network recognise regarding the conditions of financial sustainability and social enterprise.

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