Business ventures in bid to replace funding
SIGNIFICANT cuts to government funding have led Impact Make Your Mark to adopt an international social enterprise model to increase revenue and job opportunities for the disadvantaged in Bundaberg.
The not-for-profit organisation is pursuing four new business ventures - car detailing, a professional cleaning service, a fishing lure supply business and a jam-making operation - with the idea of training the unemployed to run these businesses while feeding money back into the community.
"It's been in our strategy to try to diversify through new streams," CEO Tanya O'Shea said.
Mrs O'Shea said the organisation had recently lost a "significant" amount of government funding that was used to run vital employment programs.
"We're trying to create job opportunities for our jobseekers within the community," she said.
"We don't have access to the employment programs like we used to."
Mrs O'Shea said the new venture was based around an international social enterprise model and meant the organisation did not have to rely on the government to provide funding.
"We're creating these job opportunities for the low-level skills," she said.
"Because some of them have been out of employment for a significant amount of time, or have never been employed, we're able to provide them with a safe environment to give them job-readiness skills so they can then transition out to open employment."
Mrs O'Shea said Makka Lures, the jam-making business, Bundaberg Exotic Preserves, as well as New Image Professional Cleaning and Property Solutions, would be run out of Impact's Bargara Rd premises.
She said the New Image Car Detailing would operate from Steptoe St.
"It's only in its early stages," she said.
Mrs O'Shea said the takeover of businesses was an exciting time for the organisation, which had 4000 clients come through its doors last year.
"There's always risk attached - we went through a whole analysis of the businesses," she said.
"It wasn't just go and grab any business we could.
"Once we've got these models up and running, then we can build within the models."