Social enterprise key to Building Back Better says CQU innovator
Published:06 April 2022
CQU Social Innovation Program Manager Steve Williams (centre) with other presenters at the Building Back Better event.
CQUniversity’s social innovation expertise has been front and centre in the post-pandemic rebuilding conversation, with an event tackling economic recovery for the Queensland capital.
Brisbane’s Economic Recovery - The Role of Social Enterprise was held by the Queensland Social Enterprise Council and Brisbane Economic Development Agency on Thursday, 31 March at Brisbane Business Hub.
CQUniversity Social Innovation Manager Steve Williams joined a panel to discuss the pressing issues, alongside facilitator and CEO of Impact Boom Tom Allen, and Griffith University Professor Ingrid Burkett.
Mr Williams explained that the event’s theme ‘build back better’ had important implications for social entrepreneurs, and business for good.
“’Build back better’ has become a popular phrase as we look to the pandemic recovery, but I believe it should be tweaked to be ‘build back locally, circularly, and regeneratively’,” he explained.
“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of devolved power and decision-making centered around people in local communities, and solutions to problems at a community level.”
“We also need desperately to emulate the work of leaders like Yasmin Grigaliunas at the World’s Biggest Garage Sale, and many others in the circular economy, to heal the earth with regenerative farming and food systems.”
Mr Williams, who has led a range of CQUniversity partnerships with QSEC and other organisations to develop social enterprise in regional Queensland, said the business for good model was vital to growing new opportunities and revenue streams post-pandemic.
“Social enterprise in all its for-profit and non-profit forms is the perfect model to build back locally, circularly and regeneratively because social enterprise always puts people before profit, yet still aims to make profit,” he explained.
“Within CQUniversity’s social enterprise online course iActivate, we’re already seeing the impact that passionate indviduals can make through business – and government and philanthropy must enable more social enterprises to start and enter supply chains, meeting the massively unmet need of social procurement.”
To learn more about iActivate and social enterprise development, visit cqu.edu.au/iactivate.