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CQU, SPNQ to accelerate social entrepreneurs across North Queensland

Published:24 February 2021

CQUni and Impact Boom are partnering with Smart Precinct NQ to offer North Queensland social entrepreneurs training and support to build and grow with the iActivate course.

North Queensland’s social entrepreneurs will get access to Australia’s best dedicated social innovation accelerator to help scale their impact and their business, with a new training program from CQUniversity and Smart Precinct NQ.

iActivate is CQUniversity’s innovative short course for developing a social enterprise or “business for good”, and Townsville is hosting the first-ever opportunity for participants to complete the 12-week program with face-to-face support.

Enrolment is now open with the course commencing on Wednesday 21 April, and North Queenslanders can register here.

iActivate program manager Steve Williams explained that social enterprises are businesses that trade with the goal of addressing social issues, such as providing access to employment and training for marginalised groups, or improving environmental sustainability.

An international leader in social innovation education, CQUniversity has supported thousands of Australians to drive social innovation in their communities, and is proud to partner with Smart Precinct NQ for the North Queensland iActivate initiative.

Smart Precinct NQ Managing Director Matt Steine said SPNQ will be subsidising enrolments for 10 participants who are passionate about using business to help their communities thrive.

“We know there are many social enterprises in our region that are already making their mark in North Queensland, and no doubt plenty of other aspiring innovators with an idea that can have a positive impact,” said Mr Steine.

“Thanks to the funding support Smart Precinct NQ receives from the State Government and Townsville City Council, we are able to deliver key programs such as iActivate to support the growth of local social enterprises,” he says.

“These programs add tremendous value for our startup community and we’re excited that we can partner with CQUniversity to deliver a professional development course which will accelerate their growth and create opportunity for the region.”

Peak body Queensland Social Enterprise Council analysis shows every successful Australian social enterprise creates an average of 15 jobs, generating three dollars for every dollar of investment.

In 2019 the Queensland Government announced a Queensland Social Enterprise Strategy, which includes grants and other initiatives to support emerging entrepreneurs.

“Interest in social innovation and enterprise is growing across Australia and globally, as communities look for creative and business-driven solutions to address social and environmental issues,” Mr Williams said.

“iActivate uses proven experience building social enterprise to create clear and actionable steps, activities and processes to get started and to grow a social enterprise or business for good, for the benefit of the whole community.”

CQUniversity developed iActivate with sector leader Impact Boom, and engaging video and audio content includes expert-led methods for developing social enterprise and business for good.

Applications are now open for participants across North Queensland, register here.

Subsidised cost is just $425 per participant, and applications close on Wednesday 10 March, with the course delivered from Monday 21 April.

A graduation and social enterprise pitch even will be held at Townsville’s Smart Precinct NQ in June.