Queensland Small Business Week has kicked off with over 100 small businesses attending the launch at VEND Marketplace in Virginia.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman has announced at the launch $240,000 in funding for the state’s peak social enterprise body.
“It’s an exciting time for Queensland’s social enterprise sector,” Ms Fentiman said.
“With this funding the Queensland Social Enterprise Council will be able to develop and grow the grow the thriving social enterprise sector.”
“Part of this funding will be used by the council to mount a bid for the Social Enterprise World Forum in 2021.
“This will enable Queensland social enterprises to make connections not only on a local but also an international level.”
“They range from cafes to commercial laundries and are playing a crucial role in our aim to create jobs.
“Currently we support the sector through our Small Business Procurement Commitment to increase government procurement with social enterprises and through our small business and training programs.
“As part of this commitment, the Palaszczuk Government will reduce payment times from 30 days to 20 days from 1 July 2020 and removing the restriction so all small businesses are included, irrespective of contract amount.”
“Over the next 12 months we will work to improve the capture, sharing and reporting of Queensland Government procurement data, so we can set a baseline for our future target and make it easy for businesses to work with government.
“Our hugely successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative supported social enterprises projects in community-based organisations with more than $62 million.
“And it’s fantastic to see this has resulted in more than 4,400 job opportunities for Queenslanders.
“A number of social enterprises have also been able to access support for training subsidies directly through the Annual VET Investment Plan.
“Currently these social enterprises employ more than 300 apprentices or trainees,” Ms Fentiman said.
“We are working to ensure the social enterprise sector can continue to grow and create more jobs for vulnerable people who are looking for meaningful employment.
“We are committed to creating a Queensland Social Enterprise Strategy that can help existing businesses grow, foster new and existing ventures and increase the capacity and flow of investment to the social enterprise sector.”
Jobs Queensland is working to investigate how the Queensland Government can help support social enterprise activity which will lead to a whole-of-government social enterprise strategy.
“We are committed to creating a Queensland social enterprise strategy that can help existing businesses grow, foster new and existing ventures and increase the capacity and flow of investment to the social enterprise sector,” Ms Fentiman said.