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Central Queensland shares funding to drive social enterprise recovery

Published:22 September 2020

CQUniversity Social Innovation Project Manager Steve Williams is delivering training for the Reset and Recovery with Impact project.

CQUniversity is partnering with other social innovation leaders to reinvigorate regional areas after the economic impacts of COVID-19, with $200,000 in funding support from the Queensland Government.

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.

Project lead and peak body the Queensland Social Enterprise Council says every successful Australian social enterprise generates on average 15 jobs in its community, and new start-ups in regional communities could deliver huge social benefits.

QSEC executive officer Elise Parups announced the project at CQUniversity’s Festival of Change event Rise of the Regions in September 2020.

“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,” she told event participants.

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

CQUniversity Social Innovation Project Manager Steve Williams said CQUniversity’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.”

Reset and Recover with Impact is also supported by Social Traders and Griffith University’s Yunus Centre, and funding is via Queensland’s Department of Employment and Small Business.

QSEC Chair Emma-Kate Rose says the project is part of a mission to uncover the depth of social impact being 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… and 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.

“We are grateful for the Department’s support at this critical time,” Ms Rose said.

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