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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Students launch socially conscious consulting branch in London to support community

  • Sam Djurfeldt
  • |
  • Aug 11, 2020
Students launch socially conscious consulting branch in London to support community

A team of eight students from Western University and Ivey Business School plan to open 180 Degrees Consulting Western Ontario this September. The group will be a branch of 180 Degree Consulting (180 DC). Operating in over 35 countries, 180 DC is the world’s largest consultancy for non-profits and social enterprises. Utilizing the skills and creativity of hard-working and ambitious university students, they provide high quality consulting services at affordable prices for non-profits and charities.

The team saw an existing need in London for a socially conscious consulting organization, a need which has been amplified by the recent COVID-19 virus. A global survey including nearly 550 nonprofits in 93 countries reported that 96.5% of respondents reported negative impacts related to the virus (with the most common being less contributions). While the branch can have local clients, it also has the ability, and precedent, to service clients from different countries.

The branch is in the process of being established by a team led by HBA1 student, Sam Djurfeldt, who saw the need for more student opportunities around socially-conscious consulting. “I was initially driven to start a branch in London when I thought back on my university experience and realized a lack of consulting opportunities for first- and second-year students. The most prominent business club at Western ends in second year as most club members begin Ivey. When I first learned about 180 DC, I realized it had huge potential to not only help socially conscious organizations around the world, but to support students at Western across all levels who seek consulting experience to prepare for future employment opportunities.”

Vice President and Co-Founder, Claire Lomas, is a health science and business dual degree student who is interested in the overlap between health and economy. “When the opportunity arose to start a branch of 180 Degrees Consulting at Western, I was overjoyed. I had been looking for a new project to apply my ambition to make a difference in the community with my learnings from HBA1. I immediately saw an opportunity to leverage our newfound network of friends and colleagues to deploy a team of motivated students into the London community with the common purpose of social impact.”

This past year, Claire worked closely with a non-profit in London who needed to find alternate funding after governmental changes resulted in significant funding cuts. This experience demonstrated not only the need, but also her ability as a student to help causes like this. With the support of the global 180 Degrees Consulting organization, the London Branch will have access to resources which will position them to help more non-profits in the local community.

Sarah Vu is Secretary and Co-Founder of the new chapter. She is excited to be a part of this new venture and hopes her fellow students will come on board. “Joining the team will help students learn more about the exciting field of consulting while creating long-term impact in the local community that fosters sustainable business practices.”

For students interested in social impact and sustainability, this new chapter will help students develop a community with like-minded individuals. “I’m most excited to explore and connect with the community. I’ve always been intrigued and amazed by the amount of substantial impact that can be made simply by collaborating with like-minded individuals operating in our communities,” explained Consulting Director and Co-Founder, Noah Folkins.

The overall goal of the London branch of 180 Degrees Consulting will be to promote sustainable business at the intersection of social impact and consulting, while also developing students studying in London. The group is seeking driven students who are passionate about helping their community, interested in learning hard skills, and building confidence. The preliminary partners and hard-working executive team have devoted themselves to ensuring the branch is successful and hope many students, from all backgrounds, will join.