Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman will host the QUT Bluebox ImpaQt event at Parliament House tonight to highlight the importance of social enterprises in Queensland and to look towards the future.
The Palaszczuk Government is working to ensure the state’s social enterprise sector can continue to grow and create more jobs for vulnerable people who are looking for meaningful employment.
Social enterprises, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, MPs and other stakeholders will discuss how the sector is creating brighter futures and to find ways to help develop the sector even further.
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the event not only highlighted some of the enterprises already running in the state but brought a range of people together to generate new connections and ideas.
“A strong, diverse and growing social enterprise sector produces benefits for our state economy and communities,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Assisting Queenslanders who have struggled to get a job, to gain meaningful employment in a sustainable operation is rewarding and successful in diverse industries across the state.
“I’m happy to say the Palaszczuk Government is already working in collaboration with industry to support this sector because inclusive workplaces deliver long-term and valuable benefits for local communities.
“As a government, we are looking at ways we can assist social enterprise through their procurement and the Queensland Mental Health Commission has funded a social procurement position in the Department of Housing and Public Works to drive this enhancement to our policy.
“Our Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative is delivering results by providing disadvantaged jobseekers with training and support that link with social enterprises to develop participants’ hands on experience.
“Jobs Queensland will also investigate the role and extent of social enterprises in Queensland, their economic and social outcomes and the mechanisms the government could useto help support social enterprise activity in Queensland.”
“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 Queensland’s social enterprise sector.”
“While predicting the future is a difficult challenge, I hope tonight’s event will assist the group to identify new opportunities and build new networks that will lead social enterprises to make a bigger and ongoing positive impact on Queensland’s social, environmental and economic future.”
Key agencies working across the social enterprise sector joined together at the event hosted by QUT where guests heard from Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic, QUT Chancellor Tim Fairfax AC and English Family Foundation Chairman Allan English about their experiences and the opportunities they saw for the future of social enterprise.
Vanguard Laundry founder and QUT’s social entrepreneur in residence Luke Terry challenged the sector to work towards creating 5000 new jobs for disadvantaged people.
“Social enterprises are generating a lot of interest and it is great to bring everyone together and learn more about what QUT and other organisations are doing to build on the promise and momentum that can produce real benefits for individuals, families, customers and the wider community,” Ms Fentiman said.
More information on Buy Queensland’s enhancements to social procurement is available online.
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman