Social entrepreneurs at work
A network of social entrepreneurs across northern Australia will be launched in Cairns this evening.
The Social Enterprise Network for the Tropics (SENT) will bring together social enterprises, community organisations, government, academics and other stakeholders with the purpose of building a thriving social entrepreneurship community in the Tropics.
The Network’s founding Chair is Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan, a Research Fellow at the Cairns Institute at James Cook University in Cairns.
“Social entrepreneurship is about businesses that seek to address social problems and effect social change,” Dr Gopalkrishnan said.
“We already have some local success stories of sustainable businesses that are creating employment opportunities as well as scoring goals by addressing important social issues.
“By working together as a network we hope to learn from these successes, and support and encourage further development.”
Local far north Queensland social enterprises involved in the Network include: Clean Care Cairns (which provides opportunities for people having difficulty entering the workforce), The Power of Pallets, enVizion (which specialises in development programs), CentaOne, The Streets Movement, Café One and Café Connect.
The network will have direct links with industry-focussed social entrepreneurship research at James Cook University.
“Our key focus is to explore the opportunities for building social entrepreneurship across northern Australia,” Dr Gopalkrishnan said. “Social entrepreneurship accounts for 8.7% of overall entrepreneurial activity in Australia, and we see potential for growth in our region.”
The formal launch of SENT will be at the Tropical North Queensland Innovations Awards hosted by the Cairns Regional Council.
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