CQUniversity Social Innovation Project Manager Steve Williams. Photo contributed
CQUniversity Social Innovation Project Manager Steve Williams. Photo contributed

Project links businesses with brains for prosperity

LINKING social enterprise businesses with support to help them flourish and employ Central Queenslanders is the rationale behind The Reset and Recovery with Impact project.

Led by The Queensland Social Enterprise Council QSEC with partner CQUniversity, the project will engage social innovation leaders to reinvigorate regional areas after the economic impact of COVID-19.

QSEC Chair Emma-Kate Rose said the project was part of a mission to uncover the depth of social impact generated in Queensland and specifically in regional areas.

“We aim to link social enterprises with the support they need bringing together the critical actors, investors and infrastructure services aimed at developing collaborative social enterprise responses,” she said.

“This unique process has been co-designed and will be collaboratively delivered by the partners.

“(It) will provide us with genuine insight into the way other regional areas across Queensland may be able to leverage from initiatives and social enterprises operating in their communities to support local jobs and regenerative economic solutions in these challenging times.”

The Reset and Recovery with Impact project will roll out in Far North Queensland, Central Queensland and the Western Darling Downs, establishing social enterprise “activators” and collaborative business networks that create jobs and benefit whole communities.

Ms Rose said every successful Australian social enterprise generated on average 15 jobs in its community, and new start-ups in regional communities could deliver huge social benefits.

The project was announced at CQ University’s Festival of Change event Rise of the Regions this month.

“We know that for every dollar that’s invested in social enterprise, three dollars are generated in the community – and particularly in the regions, financial support systems make that growth possible,” QSEC executive officer Elise Parups told event participants.

Ms Parups said QSEC identified the three project regions as having unique sets of social and environmental challenges, and emerging social enterprises were already starting to create effective solutions.

Social Innovation Project Manager Steve Williams said CQU’s role would be on the ground, with workshop-based training for local stakeholders.

“CQUniversity’s social innovation education has been invigorating our regions for the past five years,” he said.

“The Reset and Recovery with Impact project means we can support stakeholders to use a design lens to help social enterprises get started and maximise their impact for their community.”

For more information visit the QSEC website.

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