Students at the University of Mannheim are not only educated in their field, they are also involved in numerous extracurricular student initiatives and projects. They are aware that not only academic achievements matter; they also want to apply their theoretical knowledge, solve problems and help. There are plenty of good ideas, yet projects often lack the necessary start-up financing.
That is why, in 2016, the Business School of the University of Mannheim launched the “Social Project Contest” to which student initiatives at the University of Mannheim are encouraged to apply with one of their social projects. The Business School supports the winning project through the sale of vintage wine at the annual graduation celebration for the Bachelor’s program “Business Administration”: one euro per bottle is automatically transferred to the winning project. The cooperating Mannheim Business School will double the amount in the end.
The contest is being advertised here on the website annually in June.
“Müttersprache” offers language courses and simultaneous childcare for refugee women in Mannheim. For many fugitive mothers it is difficult if not impossible to attend an all-day language course as they ask themselves: who will be taking care of our children during this time? Anne-Sophie Waag and Sandra Haldimann recognized this problem and thus founded their association “Müttersprache” by offering those women an easily accessible first point of contact for learning the German language. Parallely to the language courses, which are being offered twice a week, the children of the women are being taken care of. The language courses as well as the child care offers are being mainly carried out by students of the University of Mannheim.
“Retterherz” is the winner of the Social Project Contest 2018. “Retterherz” tries to gain a greater acceptance for helping professions and volunteer activities and to attract young professionals through public relations work in social networks.
In 2017, the student initiative Enactus Mannheim applied with its project “Blauherz”: The goal was to develop special pants for wheelchair users, since suitable, yet affordable and stylish clothing is hard to find for them. With the prize money of the Social Project Contest, the group was able to tailor a pair of pants which soon will be produced.
In its first year, the Social Project Contest supported the student project “Macup”. The students of the three initatives involved wanted to reduce the waste created by to-go coffee cups on campus by providing a more sustainable alterantive. The project therefore aimed to establish a deposit system with reusable cups at the University of Mannheim. With the financial support of the Social Project Contest, the students were able to produce a prototype, designed by the Mannheim artist Nick Lobo, which since then is available at the campus shop.