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Matthew

Matthew Pfahlert

Year of Award: 2013 Award State: Victoria Business > General
Business > Rural And Regional
To study social enterprise incubators/accelerators as a tool for rural and regional renewal - USA, Canada, UK
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Social enterprise is no longer at the margins of business thinking and is being taken seriously as an emerging model for a new way of doing business, especially in the UK and Canada.

Social enterprise incubators/accelerators servicing rural communities are numerous and take many forms from basic early start-up business planning and mentoring courses through to sophisticated social finance brokerage organisations whose role is to scale and accelerate existing social enterprises.

However, I have learnt that incubators need to be linked into a broader social enterprise development ecosystem involving thought leaders and activists, policy makers, academics, finance institutions, advocacy groups, professional networks cross sector collaboration and funding organisations.

Policy makers in the UK and Canada are enabling rural social enterprises to flourish through social benefit criteria in procurement practices and the provision of legislation that allows enterprising community’s the right to buy their local assets. Social enterprises also thrive where intermediary organisations support the business development and financing of these projects.

Youth Entrepreneurship education programs are well established across the US, Canada and the UK. They are underpinned by the need for developed economies to find new employment through knowledge economy industries in light of the shift of traditional industries and labour to the developing countries like Brazil, Russia, India & China (BRIC).

Entrepreneurship education models, approaches and curriculum are all readily available with a number of organisations eager to share their knowledge and experience.

This report will form the basis for presentations and workshops targeting social enterprise networks, rural communities and community leadership organisations. Scheduled presentations include; Leadership Victoria, Social Traders, the Victorian State government, Alpine Valley’s Community Leadership Program, Philanthropy Australia, Fairley Community Leadership and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. I will also make myself available to other organisations interested in the learnings from my Fellowship.

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