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Community Movers and Shakers wanted

Movers and Shakers wanted

Giving money to some of the most selfless people in our community, often described as ‘the movers and shakers’, is the task of a Social Entrepreneur Fund managed by the Community Employment Group (CEG), a service of the Department of Labour, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

“The Department is now calling for applications from ‘community champions’, those people who are the leaders and innovators in our communities, and it wants these leaders to think of activities they can do to improve themselves”, Mr Maharey said.

“Social entrepreneurs work tirelessly to improve the economic and social well-being of their communities and sometimes this is to the detriment of their own personal development.

“These people can spend so much time and energy working for their communities they forget to prioritise their own learning.”

The fund, which was announced in the 2001 Budget, has already provided 24 employment and economic focused social entrepreneurs an opportunity to complete a range of activities mainly in areas of research, study and development.

This year the fund has been broadened to include social entrepreneurs with a background in the areas of youth, welfare, health and education.

Describing the grant as a ‘springboard’ for growth, Chief Executive of Innovative Waste Kaikoura, John Ransley, used his grant to travel throughout New Zealand researching other recycling groups as part of his objective to create a standard for waste diversion measurements in New Zealand.

“No way would my organisation have been able to pay for this,” John says. “Those people who are out there, who think and work outside the square, who are not scared to ‘give it a go’ should think about what the Social Entrepreneur Fund can do for them.”

The Social Entrepreneur Fund has enabled other social entrepreneurs to take on full-time study, pay for backfill while researching projects and activities locally or overseas, or attend conferences they or their organisations were unable to afford.

Details of the fund are available from www.ceg.govt.nz/socialentrepreneur or by contacting 04 915 4270.

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