Social Enterprise News

News from QSEC and the Social Enterprise Sector.

  • 18 August 2021 8:17 AM | QSEC Admin (Administrator)

    New Allies:

    2021_New-Allies_How Governments can unlock the potential of social entrepreneurs for the common good.

    As keen collaborators with strong networks and community support, systems social entrepreneurs are powerful guides and allies for governments in their fight against the urgent systemic issues of our time – in particular when it comes to addressing the social inequalities that have been amplified by the COVID 19 pandemic. This important report unpacks ways that governments can accelerate change and achieve the SDGs by collaborating with systems social entrepreneurs on institutionalizing successful social innovations.

    Learn more and read report

  • 17 August 2021 1:28 PM | QSEC Admin (Administrator)

    We love our members!  So we've gone on a mission to find what resources available and most-necessary for our members.

    While we wait for announcements of the next Social Enterprise specific support, the Small Business Commissioner's office have a wealth of tools available right now in which we hope to bring some relief.

    Scroll this list to see what you can take advantage of.
    • Queensland Small Business Commissioner provides information and advocacy support to small businesses, and informal resolution and mediation of COVID-19 affected small business leases.  
    • PDF Round up of available support - HERE 
    • If you need help with your lease, you can use the template letter to a landlord to negotiate terms under Covid - HERE
    Resources for QSEC members.
    • List of Grants and business support packages - HERE
    • QSEC Online Learning Centre - HERE

  • 04 August 2021 5:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wednesday 4 August Small Business, Employment and Training Minister Di Farmer met with QSEC members and Social enterprises to understand the recent COVID Business Relief packages.

    Click here for QLD Business Grant details 

    Upcoming Regional Business Grants (amended COVID Adaption Grant)

    DESBT Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support: 1300 654 687

    Q: How do businesses demonstrate the 30% downturn and from what period? 

    A: Businesses will be provided an accounting template to fill out to demonstrate comparable periods through the application process. There will be some commonsense flexibility in the timeframes, and an expectation that this can be verified by an accountant or responsible third party. The Department is encouraging businesses to call their hotline to discuss their situation if there is any doubt. 

    Q: Are NFP and For Profits eligible to apply?

    A: Yes as long as the meet the criteria for over $75K turn over and under $10M payroll. Please contact the Department to discuss eligibility, and also check the Federal Govt COVID disaster payment details for other opportunities. 

    Q: How long will the grant be open for? 

    A: At this stage the grant will be open for 3 months and there will be adequate time for applicants to respond. This will also allow for those businesses with anticipated longer lead times in their supply chain (30- 60 day terms) that may have delayed impact to apply for relief. There is $260M allocated to this fund to accomodate a volume of eligible businesses. 

    Q: Will support sessions for people with language or cultural barriers be provided for the application process? 

    A: The Department is working through aspects of additional support through the business hotline.  

    Q: Is this a one-off payment?

    A: At this stage, yes. Reviews will take place as required.  

    Q: How is the government addressing concerns for micro-businesses and sole traders. 

    A: This grant is specifically for employing businesses. Please check the Services Australia COVID Disaster payments for eligibility. 

    Q: How are the grants distributed between SEQ and Regional areas. 

    A: There are TWO grants available currently. The Business Basic grant (for Regional businesses) and the Covid Business Relief Grant (for businesses across QLD who have been impacted by COVID by at least a 30% downturn). Visit the Business Website to look at the guidelines for both. 

    For more information and to listen to the Minister's Briefing in full please make sure you have JOINED QSEC and visit the Grants Page on the Member Forum.

    QSEC members are also able to access FREE HR support from CCIQ until Sunday 8 August 2021. Members will be sent the details in correspondence via their profile emails. 

  • 03 August 2021 5:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here's the latest from Social Change Central:

    Got a great idea but don’t know how to get it off the ground?

    Imagine being given 12 months and $150,000 to pursue your big idea for social change? The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund is offering to exceptional leaders across all sectors (private, public and not-for-profit) and from all types of professional backgrounds.

    Over the past five years, the Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowship program has supported some of Australia’s brightest, self-directed leaders to forge breakthrough solutions to challenges facing Australia today – from education, poverty and disadvantage to sustainability and the environment. Unlike, many opportunities for social change, the Fellowship program provides support to individuals rather than organisations.

    As a Fellow, you will have the unique opportunity to take twelve months away from your current role to develop your ground-breaking idea into a plan for action. Fellows will each receive $120,000 for their twelve-month commitment to the program and an additional $30,000 will be available to each Fellow for approved expenses such as workspace, rent, travel and contracting of external expertise.

    More details here thanks to Social Change Central

    Applications close 5 September 2021

  • 03 August 2021 8:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 associated lockdown restrictions, support mechanisms have been announced at Federal and State level. 

    The Federal Government COVID-19 Disaster Payment financial support for workers will apply in all local government hotspots impacted by state health orders. Details of the package include $750 per week for workers who have lost more than 20 hours of work as a result of lockdown conditions, and $450 per week for those who lose between 8-20 hours of work. Applications for support will open Saturday 7 August 2021

    The Queensland State Government have announced a $260m Businesses Support package for businesses across the state. Small Businesses must demonstrate at least a 30% reduction in turnover as a result of the restrictions which commenced on 31 July 2021. This consists of a $5,000 one-off payment for businesses with an annual turnover of more than $75,000 with an annual payroll of $10m or less. This is in addition to the Business Basics (Round 2) Regional Queensland, the guidelines of which will be released shortly. 

    Grants are also available for large businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector operating in the 11 local government areas in the lockdown, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

    Details of the package have been released on the Department's website. The guidelines and details of how to apply will be made available in coming weeks. 

    Some sole traders (with employees) will be eligible for the grants if they are not receiving, or are not eligible to receive income support through the Australian Government’s disaster payment.  Non-employing sole traders may be eligible for support through the COVID-19 Disaster Payment with further information available on the Services Australia website shortly. 

    QSEC President Richard Warner is grateful for the support for businesses and workers from both State and Federal Governments as it assists them in managing an uncertain environment. It's our understanding that most social enterprises including not-for-profit, for-profit and many different sizes of enterprise will be supported through some of these initiatives. We are interested in hearing from members if their needs are not reflected so we can provide feedback.

    "We know that there are sole-traders and micro-business, particularly in CALD and Indigenous communities who are doing it tough," he said, "and may face barriers in accessing these funds. Some of these micro-businesses are providing essential financial support for vulnerable families, and it is important we don’t allow them to fall through the cracks.”

    QSEC is keen to understand your experience, and would welcome feedback to be able to advocate on your behalf.

    CEO Elise Parups has asked for people to contact to provide the information we need to request changes to funding or highlight concerns in special interest areas. 

    QSEC will continue to advocate for these marginal voices and work with all levels of government to help address potential gaps in the support mechanisms.

  • 30 July 2021 4:13 PM | QSEC Admin (Administrator)

    In 2020, as COVID restrictions hit the globe, Queensland’s economic recovery was in need of impact businesses. As a result, QSEC received funding from Queensland State Government to assist social enterprises (SE) in three regional areas: FNQ, Central Qld and Darling Downs.

    We developed a series of resources to respond to emerging conditions. 

    Resources were delivered to help pivot SE businesses to emerge from the COVID-19 period with job opportunities, new markets and connected communities using an "Action Lab" approach.

    The RESET toolkit is now available for use. We thank QSEC Associate Member Social Scaffolding for their assistance in crafting the tool kit for the Reset project.

    The Reset Toolkit has been made available to all social enterprises here.

    Members can LOG IN visit the QSEC Online Learning Centre for the EXPANDED version of online tools, resources and learning sessions! 

    Thanks to Griffith University's Yunus Centre, the program benefits have been mapped and evaluated.

    You can check out the Yunus Centre's report here.

    Not a member yet? Don't worry, QSEC is easy to join and just a couple of clicks away: JOIN US

    QSEC would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Griffith University, CQUni, Social Traders and Social Scaffolding. 

    We thank Minister Di Farmer and the Queensland Government for their support of this project and the ongoing work of the social enterprise sector. 

  • 30 July 2021 9:45 AM | QSEC Admin (Administrator)

    The Qld State Government’s popular Business Basics grants, launched 31 May are getting a $5 million top up, with $5,000 grants available for small businesses in regional Queensland. The COVID-19 adaptation grants were designed by the Department of Small Business and Training for small businesses experiencing a 30 per cent decline in revenue for at least a month due to the pandemic. The Department have indicated that demand for these grants have declined, as many businesses just aren’t meeting that criteria any longer due to stronger economic growth.

    While the SEQ grant pool had been expended, those regional Businesses preparing their application for the current regional Covid-19 Business Adaption Grants should get their forms in by 6 August.

    Information on how to apply for the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants (regional) program is available HERE.

    The Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said “We promised this money for the regions and we are committed to it staying in the regions, and that is why we’re redirecting the funds to a regional round of Business Basics so that we can provide the type of support Queensland small businesses are looking for right now."

    Regional areas include: 

    Bundaberg, Central Queensland, Cairns, FNQ, Fraser Coast, Mackay and Townsville (regional eligibility will be defined in the upcoming guidelines). 

    Key Points

    •  $5 million will be made available for a regional-only round of Business Basics Grants in August 2021.
    • Regional eligible Queensland small businesses will be able to apply for these $5,000 grants.
    • Regional small businesses will be able to review the guidelines and prepare their applications, with the round opening at 9am on 31 August 2021.
    • Money to fund this will come from the closing of the Small Business Regional COVID Adaptation Grants due to ongoing reduced demand, which will close on the 6 August 2021.

    The refreshed guidelines and an example application form will be available 17 August, with the round opening at 9am on 31 August on the Department's Government business grants website.

    For further information on all Queensland Government grant programs visit or call 1300 654 687.

  • 27 July 2021 8:14 AM | QSEC Admin (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the following Social Enterprises who were successfully awarded a Westpac Foundation Social Enterprise Grant!

    Keep up the Amazing Work!!!

    Read more!

    • 2nd Shot
    • Australian Spatial Analytics
    • Happy Paws Happy Hearts
    • Hotel Housekeeping
    • Nundah Coop
    • Vanguard Laundry Services
    • Work Restart!!
  • 22 July 2021 1:04 PM | QSEC Admin (Administrator)

    Building the pathway to a national social enterprise strategy

    At QSEC our vision is to create a thriving social enterprise sector, but we know that’s not something we can achieve on our own.

    That’s why we’ve been collaborating as part of an Advisory Group working to develop a national social enterprise strategy for Australia. The advisory group has just released the first reports with a proposed pathway forward.

    Social enterprise is an idea whose time has come. Now more than ever we need blended models that build a fairer and more just Australia and are also commercially viable.

    There are thousands of social enterprises already operating around Australia. But the sector is fragmented and underserved. That’s why in 2020, we got together with a group of other social enterprise sector leaders to explore how to supercharge the sector’s growth through a national social enterprise strategy.

    We formed an advisory committee including The English Family Foundation (Belinda Morrissey), ACRE (Matt Pfahlert), Social Traders (Tara Anderson), SASEC (Sharon Zivkovic), SENVIC (Nick Verginis), YLab (Michael Lim) and Good Cycles (Jaison Hoernel).

    Together we imagined a strategy that would set a shared direction for the sector and improve coordination. A strategy that would increase the visibility and credibility of social enterprise. A strategy that would unlock new resources for the sector and strengthen capability.

    As a starting point, the Yunus Centre at Griffith University conducted research across the social enterprise sector, in Australia and overseas. The research is now available in two parts, with a third to be released during the next phase:

    -        Part one: a summary of themes, tensions & provocations, capturing the history and learning in the social enterprise sector in Australia and internationally.

    -        Part two: a possible pathway for building the connective tissue across the Australian social enterprise sector so that collectively we can amplify our impact. It asks us to consider – what would it look like if we were to better organise at a national level?

    The conversations we’ve had across the social enterprise sector so far suggest there is widespread support for a national strategy, shared goals and better coordination in the social enterprise sector. But that’s just the beginning. The next step is to setup governance structures to take the project forward and wide consultation and co-creation to shape the project, which is what’s happening now.

    Levelling up the sector’s impact and developing a national strategy will take all of us - everyone who wants to see the social enterprise sector grow and thrive.

    There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved. Stay tuned for forums to explore the path forward.


    Footage courtesy Impact BoomSocial Enterprise Council of NSW and ACTQueensland Social Enterprise CouncilSocial Enterprise World Forum. Production gifted by Digital Storytellers.

  • 22 July 2021 12:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Brisbane Olympics an opportunity for government to lead social procurement

    Australia hosting the Olympics in Brisbane and South-East Queensland in 2032 is a crucial opportunity for the Queensland Government to build an inclusive economy through social procurement.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison said securing the Games was a coup for the nation. It also stands to be a significant opportunity to create lasting social impact across the state. Many social and sustainable benefits have been highlighted in the media releases and speeches from our federal, state and local leaders.

    The Queensland Social Enterprise Council (QSEC) and Social Traders have been productively working with all levels of government in Queensland to help unleash the potential of social enterprise procurement across the state.

    Social enterprises are an innovative breed of businesses that exist to create a fairer and more sustainable world. Social procurement is when a business or government chooses to buy goods and services from a social enterprise. Social procurement is crucial in creating a sustainable source of revenue for social enterprises to drive positive impact and community benefits. 

    QSEC President, Richard Warner said: “Queensland Federal Minister Richard Colbeck indicated that this kind of major event creates an opportunity to ‘lock in’ sustainable social and economic benefits. His call for local businesses and companies to seek these opportunities should signal a real call to action for social enterprise in Queensland to make the 2032 games the ‘social impact games’ through social procurement.”

    Social Traders Queensland Lead, Alex Hooke, said: “Now is the time to firm up social procurement policy and action in Queensland to support social enterprises to grow. More and stronger social enterprises will help build an inclusive Queensland economy and capitalise on this once in a generation opportunity of hosting the largest event on earth.”

    Queensland Government and South East Queensland Councils could amplify positive impact through direct procurement with social enterprises as well as leveraging larger contractors to deliver enhanced social outcomes for the local community.  

    Together QSEC and Social Traders are looking forward to continuing their strong relationships with the state and local governments in Queensland to make sure social enterprises are in a front row seat for the 2032 Olympic games.

    Media contact: Elise Parups CEO QSEC 

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