CQU wins grant to support social enterprise sector

Published Wednesday, 04 May, 2022 at 01:44 PM

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

CQ University is one of eight organisations that will share in almost $1 million in grants to ensure the development and growth of Queensland’s emerging social enterprise sector.


Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the latest grants under the $8 million Social Enterprise Jobs Fund would help organisations deliver projects that contribute to the inclusive growth and sustainability of Queensland’s social enterprise sector.


“I’m pleased to announce that CQU’s iActivate program has been awarded $194,200 to work with 48 enterprises in Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Toowoomba and Cairns to ensure they have a viable social enterprise business model,” Minister Farmer said.


The 14-month project will provide capacity-building sessions designed to increase the number and quality of social enterprises, provide opportunities for regional entrepreneurs, and support development of innovative social ventures. 


It will also deliver three workshops for existing social enterprises to focus on daily operations involved in running a business.


“Altogether, these Social Enterprise Sector Development Grants commit $990,800 to increase skills development opportunities, leadership and network support to unlock more of the sector’s potential,” Minister Farmer said.


Assistant Minister for Education and Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, said entrepreneurs aiming to turn an idea into a successful social enterprise had to overcome some unique challenges on top of the common hurdles of setting up a new business.


“These grants aim to foster the conditions that will see more social enterprises launched in Queensland and start to grow.


“It is fantastic to have the successful organisations sharing their sector knowledge and expertise thanks to these grants,” Ms Lauga said.


Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke said tapping into the experience and expertise that others could offer and building connections with people who understood the issues was valuable and would encourage and support more people to get involved in the sector.

“For example, Acceler8 will offer social enterprise leaders in Rockhampton, Brisbane, Mackay and Cairns a financial education workshop series, which includes identifying revenue opportunities and cash flow management,” Mr O’Rourke said.


Social enterprises are businesses led by a social purpose and geared towards a social good. They operate to deliver benefits for the community while supporting themselves commercially, creating jobs and providing needed goods and services in the process.


Queensland Social Enterprise Council CEO Elise Parups said the programs made available to social enterprises through the grants would provide a critical uplift for the emerging sector.


“Social enterprises across Queensland are delivering innovative, market-led solutions to the community through their business operations,” Ms Parups said.


“The funding being provided will enable sector leaders to respond strategically to the needs of the sector and assist social enterprises to grow across the state, to mobilise work-force participation for marginalised cohorts and offer on-the-ground support to help scale operations in areas of need,” she said.


Minister Farmer said a Social Enterprise World Forum would be held in Queensland later this year and would be a great opportunity to showcase a vibrant and growing sector that was excited to share its stories on the international stage.


“We are committed to building a strong and thriving social enterprise sector in Queensland, through developing capability and capacity, fostering connections, raising awareness, and improving market access.”


The other successful recipients and projects are:


  • Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative to run an incubator program for place-based social enterprises working with local neighbourhood centres and councils
  • White Box Enterprises to put in place a dedicated Queensland Capacity Building program manager to work with up to 15 job-focused social enterprises
  • James Cook University to increase the number of social enterprises in Far North Queensland and the Cape with a focus on supporting Indigenous businesses
  • Queensland University of Technology (Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies) to engage up to 100 social enterprise leaders and managers in a training program to build capability and strengthen sustainability of their businesses
  • Acceler8 to deliver financial education workshops to up to 150 participants
  • Impact Boom’s Elevate+ Project aims to build the capacity of social enterprises via business development, education and training
  • StartSomeGood’s Emerge program aims to create launch-ready social enterprises, and directly addresses disadvantage by inviting diverse and disadvantaged community members to be part of imagining and designing solutions.

For more information on the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund grants visit www.desbt.qld.gov.au/training/future-skills-fund/social-enterprise-grants or call 1300 369 935.


Media contact: Joe Begley 0482 914 103