Participants share ideas during the Central Highlands Social Enterprise Project's Innovate for Growth workshop at CQUniversity's Emerald Campus last week.
Participants share ideas during the Central Highlands Social Enterprise Project's Innovate for Growth workshop at CQUniversity's Emerald Campus last week.

Aspiring innovators step up skills in CQUni workshops

Central Highlands’ social entrepreneurs and aspiring innovators have stepped up their skills, with the latest round of CQUniversity workshops for the Central Highlands Social Enterprise Project.

Held at CQUni’s Emerald Campus across Tuesday and Wednesday February 16-17, the workshops were the third round of events presented in partnership with Central Highland Community Services.

The project was launched in November 2020, and has already connected dozens of people passionate about growing the region‘s for-good sector.

CQUniversity program manager Social Innovation Steve Williams said the latest workshops had attendees consolidate their learnings, and start applying them to real-world challenges for their organisations, and for the region.

“We‘re continuing to provide entry-level training for people thinking about starting a social enterprise, and intensive opportunities for people already in the sector,” he said.

The day two workshop ‘Innovate for Grow’ provided opportunities for social entrepreneurs to explore diversifying and growing income.

“Local people are driving the development of a different way of doing business in the region, looking at employment creation, environmental solutions and cultural aspects to life,” Mr Williams said.

CQUniversity associate vice president (North Queensland and Hinterland) Professor Pierre Viljoen said CQUniversity was a leader in social enterprise education and support.

“The events not only give attendees a chance to network with community and industry, but allow them to pitch and showcase social enterprise prototypes.”

To participate in future Central Highlands Social Enterprise Project events, email socialinnovation@cqu.edu.au to register your interest.

Aspiring social entrepreneurs can also complete CQUni’s new online social enterprise short course iActivate, more information at cqu.edu.au/iactivate.

The Central Highlands Social Enterprise Project is funded by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, through its program Tackling Tough Times Together.

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.


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