Busi­ness of change

Pro­gram builds on new ideas

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

IF you have a busi­ness idea with the po­ten­tial to ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity, you need to build the right skills to turn your dream into a re­al­ity.

The School for So­cial En­trepreneurs is a not- for- profit or­gan­i­sa­tion which has launched a four- month So­cial Change Pro­gram ( SC101) in the Townsville re­gion.

Up to 20 in­di­vid­u­als will be able to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram, which will help them gain the skills and net­works needed to de­velop an en­ter­prise which tack­les lo­cal so­cial is­sues.

The pro­gram will start in Septem­ber and will draw on a range of lo­cal men­tors and ex­perts.

The Townsville- based pro­gram will sup­port lo­cal change- mak­ers to have a last­ing and pos­i­tive im­pact on their com­mu­nity.

The “learn­ing by do­ing” ap­proach will en­gage a suite of lead­ing ex­perts over 12 pro­gram days to el­e­vate so­cial ven­tures or ideas to the next level.

The pro­gram was suc­cess­fully pi­loted in Alice Springs in 2013 and is planned to roll out to 15 re­gional lo­ca­tions by 2017.

More than 400 peo­ple have com- pleted SSE pro­grams in Aus­tralia since 2009.

School of So­cial En­trepreneurs CEO, Celia Hod­son, said So­cial Change 101 brings to­gether grass­roots emerg­ing so­cial en­trepreneurs with lo­cal busi­ness lead­ers to “catal­yse so­cial and eco­nomic pros­per­ity in the com­mu­nity”.

“Ev­i­dence shows that re­gional en­ter­prises en­sure pros­per­ity growth to re­gional com­mu­ni­ties, gen­er­at­ing jobs and vol­un­teer work­ers,” Ms Hod­son said.

“Our pro­grams give the next gen­er­a­tion of so­cial in­no­va­tors the op­por­tu­nity to learn, grow and ap­ply their pas­sion and en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit to solv­ing com­plex so­cial is­sues.”

Re­cent grad­u­ate Melissa Tucker is the man­ager of Mil­dura Cho­co­late Com­pany, a so­cial en­ter­prise which em­ploys peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

“With the sup­port of a bril­liant lo­cal men­tor I was able to de­velop a rig­or­ous busi­ness plan that’s given me clar­ity on how we can ex­pand our pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity,” Melissa says.

“Not only that, the So­cial Change 101 Pro­gram gath­ered like- minded so­cial en­trepreneurs in Mil­dura with the com­mon goal of af­fect­ing change, thereby re­duc­ing the iso­la­tion of­ten ex­pe­ri­enced in re­gional ar­eas.”

The full, four- month So­cial Change 101 pro­gram in Townsville is be­ing of­fered with gen­er­ously sub­sidised fees.

In­di­vid­u­als can at­tend at a re­duced cost of $ 800 per per­son or $ 1200 as a par­tic­i­pant from an or­gan­i­sa­tion.

A free in­for­ma­tion event will be held on Mon­day, July 27, in Townsville for any­one who would like to find out more about the course.

For more de­tails or to register your in­ter­est, visit sse. org. au.

POS­I­TIVE OUT­COME: School for So­cial En­trepreneurs Aus­tralia stu­dents, and ( inset) school CEO Celia Hod­son.

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