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iActivate graduates doing business for good

iActivate graduates bundaberg
The group of participants who are taking part in CQUniversity's social enterprise accelerator iActivate.

Later this month 13 participants of CQUniversity's social enterprise accelerator iActivate will graduate at CQUniversity Bundaberg.

The iActivate graduates will have spent 13 weeks desiging and growing their for-purpose business ideas in the hope of building a better future for the region.

They’re set to showcase their big-impact plans which tackle issues from housing to waste plastic, animal welfare and community service.

The emerging social enterprises combine creativity, innovation and great ideas.

Community members are welcome to attend Bundaberg’s free iActivate graduation, showcase and networking event, register here.

It’s the first time the popular 13-week program has be delivered in Bundaberg with face-to-face and online support, thanks to the Queensland Government’s $8 million Social Enterprise Jobs Fund.

iActivate is CQUniversity’s innovative short course for developing a social enterprise or “business for good”, while connecting with other passionate entrepreneurs, and the program kicked off in Bundaberg in August.

The program, co-presented with Queensland social impact business Impact Boom, earns a digital badge and micro-credential for LinkedIn profiles and CVs of the iActivate graduates.

CQUniversity Social Innovation Program Manager, Steve Williams says iActivate is delivering exciting new initiatives for the Wide Bay – Burnett region.

iActivate graduates bundaberg
iActivate graduates have taken part in sessions.

Meet some of the Bundaberg Region iActivate graduates:

PLOYS: Repurposing pool toys, protecting the reef

With a mission to reduce plastic waste by recycling and reusing punctured pool inflatables, PLOYS is creating unique bags, purses and accessories with the PVC diverted from landfill and ocean.

Bundaberg founders Carin and Gerhard Sandker-van Grunsven started PLOYS in 2020 after becoming dismayed at the short shelf life of pool toys, and have already repurposed hundreds of kilograms of the colourful plastics, while donating a percentage of profits to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Their mission is through a circular loop, create a better more durable product than its original form.

Participating in iActivate has provided the pair with a chance to review business structure and customer profile, and to find new opportunities for collaborations.

“We are re-enthused and future-focussed on creating brand awareness and greater exposure and growth,” they said.

“Meeting like-minded entrepreneurs, having a space to plan and collaborate and conceptualise has been a valuable opportunity.”


The healthy Not-For-Profit: Tools for purposeful growth

Experienced not-for-profit practitioner Nathan Spruce is bringing tech to growing good, with his latest project for a leading Bundaberg changemaker.

Working with IMPACT Community Services Bundaberg since 2012, since 2020 he’s been the General Manager – Innovation, and Mr Spruce is designing a social enterprise to help other not-for-profits too.

The Healthy Not-For-Profit is a service providing tools and support to help for-purpose businesses grow.

His innovative For Purpose Health Monitor tool identifies areas of business that need more development, across priorities, agility, sustainability, values, partnerships, data and other categories.

It’s been developed with support of an Atlassian Foundation mentoring program, and now Mr Spruce is building the business model as part of iActivate.

“I’m already piloting the tool, which we’d make available to organisations to run themselves, using their latent skills – because if you’ve got skills internally, why would not try and unleash them” he said.

“But for organisations who want it externally facilitated, that’s where the trade and earning potential come in.

“The Healthy Not-For-Profit idea came from IMPACT wanting to give back and help grow the sector, rather than just our own operations – and actually being in the room with other people passionate about setting up a social enterprise through iActivate has been a gamechanger.”


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