An animal shelter training program, a rural telehealth provider and a restaurant skilling migrant women are among the latest recipients of the Palaszczuk Government’s Social Enterprise Growth Grants.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said 30 organisations would share in more than $635,000 to grow their operations and goodwill.
“Social enterprises are businesses that address social, cultural and environmental challenges and invest their profits towards that purpose,” Minister Farmer said.
“They are community assets, often supporting disadvantaged Queenslanders into secure jobs.
“We announced our $8 million Social Enterprise Jobs Fund earlier this year to grow the sector and create jobs as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan.
“Under this Fund, the Growth Grants will support a whole range of projects creating genuine social impact, including recycling clean plastic waste from hospitals and training inmates in graphic design to reduce recidivism.
“Funded organisations can invest in things like new equipment, training or strategic advice and website improvements to scale up or adapt their operations.”
Minister Farmer said The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation’s Café for The Common Good will receive $15,000 towards their Fresh Food After Hours Project.
It provides freshly prepared, in-house food options for staff, patients and visitors at The Prince Charles and Caboolture Hospitals and the Kedron Emergency Services Complex at every hour of the day.
CEO of The Common Good Michael Hornby said the grant was a win-win to improve the health of the community.
“This grant enables two great outcomes – healthy food options for healthcare workers and the profits are funding lifesaving medical research,” Mr Hornby said.
“Next year, we plan to expand to other hospital campuses as part of our goal to reduce chronic disease which affects 90 per cent of Queenslanders.”
The Café for The Common Good currently employs 56 staff across its five venues.
Last year, the social enterprise funded over 20,750 hours of life-changing medical research, supporting over 100 researchers, scientists and biomedical engineers conducting research into chronic diseases like dementia, heart disease, lung disease and mental health.
Profits from new vending machines will be directly channelled into the various medical research projects and support local fresh food suppliers, creating further demand for jobs.
The Palaszczuk Government released the Queensland Social Enterprise Strategy in 2019, designed to build capability and capacity, make connections across the sector and improve market access.
In a further show of support for the sector, the Palaszczuk Government recently committed $385,000 to the Queensland Social Enterprise Council and $100,000 to sponsor the 2022 Social Enterprise World Forum, to be held in Brisbane.