A big announcement today. Following on from the success of Renew Newcastle, the Victorian social enterprise seeding initiative Social Traders program “The Crunch” has just announced that over the next four or so months they will invest $10,000 and serious mentorship, Melbourne University Business School support and other assistance towards the establishment of Renew Australia.
At the end of that first stage of support Renew Australia will be one of 9 organisations with an opportunity to put in a bid for a share of ONE MILLION DOLLARS (that deserves all caps) in seed funding early in 2011. Renew Australia is aimed to be a national scheme based on the Renew Newcastle model – making the best possible uses of otherwise empty spaces by making them available to artists, creative projects and community groups.
I think it’s a great model and there’s much to figure out but it think the support over the coming months will go a long way towards doing that.
Unusually for projects of this type our application was allowed to come in pretty much any form so the video above was more or less our initial application – with a little section about finances and business models cut out. I think it shows something of what we’ve been doing and what we’re aiming to do from here.
Even before it officially exists Renew Australia is already working with Renew Newcastle, Renew Townsville, Renew Adelaide and other groups in Lismore, Parramatta, Geelong and elsewhere. Frankly even before starting we’re snowed under with people wanting to work with us! We have had expressions of interest from places including Kettering, Nambour, Arilie Beach, the South Australian Riverland, Ispwich, Sawn Hill, Marysville, Launceston, The Gascoyne, Whyalla, Ceduna, the Latrobe Valley, Wagga Wagga, Port Pirie, Darwin, Geraldton, Canberra, Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Monbulk, Queenstown, Bathurst, Denmark (WA). Albany, Waaragul, Barcaldine, Redlands, Penrith, Griffith, Mildura, Bunbury, Batesman Bay, Nowa Nowa, Bermagui, Kalgoorlie, Biloela and Banana (which is apparently a place in Qld).
With any luck and with the support of The Crunch we will be in a position to start seriously supporting some of these places, projects and groups some time in 2011. Fingers crossed.
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