If you have a head for business and a heart for the community, Central Coast Council wants to hear from you.
Council’s Social Enterprise Launch Pad program will support entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organisations as they explore sustainable business concepts which have a positive social impact within the community.
Council Director, Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan, said the program would appeal to multiple audiences.
“There are two groups which are perfectly suited to develop social enterprises, not-for-profit organisations and small businesses,” Vaughan said.
“Not-for-profits are encouraged to look at sustainable business models that can provide alternative income streams, while creating employment and educational opportunities for the community they serve.
“Likewise, small business owners who have a strong social conscience can shape their service and develop new approaches which can have a positive social impact in their community.”
Examples of successful social enterprises include not-for-profit organisations which provide supported employment for ventures such as cafes or upcycling donated goods, to education initiatives and programs with a positive environmental impact.
One such example is Roundabout Circus, based at Wyoming.
Founders, Andy and Rachel Peters, completed an earlier Social Enterprise Launch Pad program which helped them turn their circus hobby into a sustainable business model with a positive social impact.
The couple teaches circus skills to the wider community while also working with groups with special needs, and providing disadvantaged groups with access to circus skill sessions.
Roundabout Circus runs weekly classes, school holiday workshops, community performances and open circus jams, where anyone can come along and get involved or try a new skill.
“We direct the revenue from our regular operations to help subsidise classes for those with special needs,” Rachel Peters said.
“These include dedicated workshops for charitable organisations such as Life Without Barriers.
“The key benefit of our circus skills is to show how something that seems impossible becomes achievable when it’s broken up into smaller steps.
“This message is true for all our participants, but especially true for those who live with a disability.
Central Coast Mayor, Jane Smith, said Council was committed to supporting new social enterprises on the Coast because of the economic advantages they would bring, but also because of the social benefit to the broader community.
“Building a successful social enterprise not only positively impacts the group it is designed to serve, but also contributes to our economic growth by creating local jobs on the Coast,” Smith said.
The Social Enterprise Launch Pad program will kick off on March 27, with a series of seven steps which support entities to shape their ideas to be ‘launch’ ready.
At each session, inspiring guest speakers will encourage participants to think deeply about their entity’s social impact and the difference it could make in the community.
Media release, Feb 20
Central Coast Council