A Head For Business, A Heart For The World

Ever wanted to dabble in startups? Social impact? Well, a group of University of Melbourne students have come together to combine just that.

swap cupWe spoke to Eva from EK Group to learn more about her startups and how she’s used her time at university to start something impactful.

EK is a group consisting of social enterprises that empower people to look after the environment. Ecco Kuppa, their first social enterprise, sells simply designed reusable coffee cups with 100% of profits being directed into their global reforestation and educational initiatives.

Their second social enterprise, Swap Cup, was also a prize sponsor for our recent MBSSSA Amazing Race event. Swap Cup licenses out a cup exchange program that tackles hygiene and convenience issues surrounding the use of keep cups, allowing students to receive access to industry sanitised cups and discounts with every drink.

Currently, you can join the Swap Cup programme at two pilot cafes across the road from MBS — Porta Via (Law Building) and Baretto Espresso (Alan Gilbert).

How Swap Cup Works

In partnership with a local café owner, Swap Cup was founded to provide a solution to the amount of disposable cups Australians put into landfill and the hassle of reusable coffee cups. Currently, reusable coffee cups, once used, are unsanitary and inconvenient to carry around. The Swap Cup programme allows students to exchange their Swap Cups for an industry cleaned cup, alleviatiating the hygiene and legal risk café owners face when cups have to be washed ad hoc.

A key feature of the programme is the token exchange. If students don’t want to carry their Swap Cup around, they can swap it for a token keyring at any participating café. This token can allow them to use another clean cup the next time they order a drink. Participating in this program also means you get a 50c discount on every drink. Head on down to Baretto Espresso or Porta Via to purchase a Swap Cup now and be part of a community is building a more sustainable future.

In alignment with UoM’s sustainability goals, Swap Cup is working to reduce the amount of landfill to 20kg per person by 2020.

Talking to Eva about the opportunities that exist at MBS, she said:

“MBS students should take advantage of the incredible types of support available. EK Group is lucky to be working with Enactus (GSA-affiliated club), Geoff Martin (MBS SE Program) and Ben Neville (Director of MBS Asia Pacific Impact Centre). Their support has been invaluable and greatly appreciated.”

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