Aspiring social entrepreneurs across the Central Highlands can get fresh support and skills, thanks to a CQUniversity partnership with local social enterprise Central Highlands Community Services.
Aspiring social entrepreneurs across the Central Highlands can get fresh support and skills, thanks to a CQUniversity partnership with local social enterprise Central Highlands Community Services.

Program to tackle social issues and create new jobs

ASPIRING social entrepreneurs across the Central Highlands can get fresh support and skills, thanks to a CQUniversity partnership with local social enterprise Central Highlands Community Services (CHCS).

The organisations will establish the Central Highlands Social Enterprise Project, with funding from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, through its program Tackling Tough Times Together.

Open to anyone passionate about building community resilience for the Central Highlands, CQUni Social Innovation Program Manager Steve Williams said the launch and workshop would give participants a toolkit for innovation.

“The past few years have seen huge growth in the social enterprise sector, creating new revenue streams and new jobs across Australian communities,” Mr Williams said.

“But we know that some regional areas have missed out on those opportunities – so the Central Highlands Social Enterprise Project will be a resource to showcase what’s possible, and connect entrepreneurs in the region to maximise their social impact.”

Participants will receive support through online resources, connections to industry partners, and opportunities to pitch and showcase their social enterprise prototypes.

“It’s great to be delivering the project with Central Highlands Community Services, whose neighbourhood centre, disability accommodation, and community transport initiatives are great examples of local innovation,” Mr Williams said.

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to address social issues, provide access to employment and training for marginalised groups, or grow environmental sustainability.

The project will include events and workshops across Central Highlands communities, with the launch in Emerald on Wednesday, November 25.

Project supporter and peak body the Queensland Social Enterprise Council (QSEC) estimates that a successful Australian social enterprise generates on average 15 jobs in its community, and new start-ups in regional communities can deliver huge social benefits.

CQUniversity is also partnering with QSEC for the Reset and Recovery with Impact project, establishing social enterprise networks across Far North Queensland, Central Queensland and the Western Darling Downs.

To participate in the Central Highlands Social Enterprise Project, register here.

Email Steve Williams at socialinnovation@cqu.edu.au for more information.