Newly established social enterprises across Queensland will share in over $500,000 to help them grow and increase their confidence as they begin their new venture.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said 23 grant recipients will now be able to purchase equipment, resources and business advisory services to support a solid foundation to build their business.
“Social enterprises are businesses that exist to do good, and I’m thrilled that we’re able to support them as they provide so many benefits to our communities – offering training opportunities, creating good jobs and providing better services,” Minister Farmer said.
“The 2020–21 State Budget committed $8 million over two years for the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund. The Social Enterprise Development Grants is the fourth grant program to be released under the Fund, enabling eligible enterprises and organisations to apply for up to $25,000.”
Minister Farmer said she was pleased to announce the grants recipients in the lead up to the 2022 Social Enterprise World Forum, co-hosted by White Box Enterprises, which will be held in Brisbane this week.
“Over 60 percent of Queensland’s social enterprises operate in four key industry areas – health care and social assistance, administration and support services, arts and recreation services and accommodation and food services – providing vital services statewide,” Minister Farmer said.
“Our grants help those enterprises to expand and create jobs for those more vulnerable members of our community who may experience challenges finding work.”
Minister Farmer said encouraging traditional business to follow the example of social enterprises by creating a more diverse workforce was a focus of the Good people. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022–2032 and is key to addressing our labour and skills shortages.
“The Queensland Workforce Strategy will support employers to develop inclusive work practices and tap into workers that they may have not considered hiring before,” Minister Farmer said.
“We are calling on employers to think differently about how they could make their business a more attractive place to work – be it through flexible work hours, job-sharing, working from home or other incentives – to find the right fit between available jobs and available workers.”
Minister Farmer said businesses, like the new social enterprise, Springwood Cakes and Catering, were setting a great example when it came to a diverse workforce.
“Over the next two years, the new venture by the Logan East Community Neighbourhood Association plans to create jobs for 12 women who are homeless, experience mental health problems or are domestic violence survivors.
“They will use their grant to complete a business plan for their supported employment model and develop branding and production of promotional material.
“In Far North Queensland, the recently created Saltwater People Social Enterprise, aims to increase economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and creatives.
“The grant will be used for business planning and sales and marketing strategy advice.”
Minister Farmer congratulated all grants recipients and wished them well for their future endeavours.
“I would like to thank all of Queensland’s social enterprises for the work they do to support our communities and our environment,” Minister Farmer said.
“From Mossman to Burleigh Waters, the Queensland Government Social Enterprise Development Grants are helping businesses to purchase resources such as audio-visual equipment, café furniture and coffee machines or to engage consultants to help develop business and marketing plans and websites and move the business to a digital platform.
“The grant recipients cover a range of industries from manufacturing, hospitality, community health to education and training, and include projects such as native habitat regeneration to affordable and sustainable housing models and linking businesses and consumers with products produced by social enterprises.
“I look forward to seeing how these enterprises are able to continue their passion, grow and best serve their communities.”