A Cairns social entrepreneur has taken the next step to grow community and wellbeing in the region, after CQUniversity's iActivate program helped launch her inspiring mission.
Sophie Anderson founded her accredited coaching business last year, while completing CQU's social enterprise short course with a Far North Queensland cohort.
"I came to this course with no business background, and zero clients - but I've used the knowledge I gained and the iActivate tools and now have several clients, glowing reviews, and been invited to speak at events, and I'm founding new initiatives too!" she said.
Her latest creation is Cairns Wellness Solutions, a free online network to empower Cairns residents and share resources to reduce stress and improve wellbeing.
The Facebook group was launched on 28 April 2023, and has already grown to 90 members, with support from four other local wellness leaders: Suzanne Rath, a respected businesswoman and physiotherapist, Jo Piggott, social entrepreneur and Cairns Woman of the Year 2023, Aimee Kojima, a local massage and wellness expert, and Carl Johnson, a Masters student at CQUniversity.
Members can access find a wide range of resources and discussions on topics such as tips, expert recommendations, and feel-good conversations.
"This initiative is much needed to assist with reducing stress and improving our wellbeing. We are here to adapt to the group's needs and provide ideas and inspiration for them to find solutions to their issues," Mrs Anderson said.
"It is all about support and connection, not medical advice. We are also here for people to get to know local experts on a more personal level than simply googling them or asking for friends’ recommendations, allowing them to be more proactive in their journey to wellbeing."
"We will share a lot of free resources, videos, and files that they may choose to use to improve their lives."
As it grows, Cairns Wellness Solutions plans to organise talks, events, live educational or motivational sessions, as well as Q&A sessions to suit the group's needs, and the needs of those who do not use the social media platform.
Mrs Anderson says she's passionate about creating community, after the iActivate community was so central to her entrepreneur journey.
She was one of 12 inspiring participants of the Far North Queensland iActivate cohort, which graduated at CQUniversity Cairns on Thursday 8 December 2022, after 13 big weeks of designing and growing their for-purpose business ideas.
Mrs Anderson said being the process was fulfilling and inspiring.
“Understanding the nuts and bolts of a social enterprise is inspiring me to become an engaged entrepreneur and citizen,” she said.
“If we all make an effort in making this world a better place, we will succeed.”
In her coaching business, Mrs Anderson uses techniques to grow calm, and improve mindset, relationships and overall health, partnering with clients to clarify how to improve life situation, and to establish a powerful action plan to progress.
The Cairns initiative was the first time the popular 13-week program had be delivered in FNQ with face-to-face and online support, thanks to the Queensland Government’s $8 million Social Enterprise Jobs Fund.
iActivate is CQUniversity’s innovative short course for developing a social enterprise or “business for good”, while connecting with other passionate entrepreneurs.
For more information or to enrol and study flexibly, visit cqu.edu.au/iactivate.