As we navigate through COVID-19, unemployment is expected to double to over 10 per cent by the end of 2020. Youth (15-24 years) in Moreton Bay North experience a lack of work opportunities and already account for 17.7 per cent of unemployment which is well above Queensland average of 14.6 per cent.

As a hotspot for youth unemployment, Moreton Bay North is an excellent case study to build capacity and capability for social enterprises to grow and support “disadvantaged job seekers” and directly aligns with the objectives of Queensland Government.

Aspire Social Enterprise (Aspire) is co-founded by Mark Cooper and James Brockhurst (Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation). Based in the Moreton Bay Regional Council, Aspire targets youth unemployment, underemployed and those who ‘aspire’ to contribute through meaningful work with a focus on sustainability e.g. audio visual and IT installation services that result in ethical reuse, refurbish and recycling of e-waste.

Dr Heather Stewart, in partnership with Aspire, is looking to co-develop learning and earning strategies through the value-based overhauling, repurposing and recycling of e-waste.

“We believe that job training and employment is not the sole answer to the issues facing our region”

Mark Cooper

And James added in support of their sustainable approach to the social enterprise: 

“A holistic approach is necessary to improve economic, social and environmental outcomes”

James Brockhurst

Key outcomes of this project include online workshops for youth development, best practice guidelines and a case study on social enterprise development and job creation.

These outcomes are aimed at sharing knowledge to support, develop and partner with social enterprises thereby strategically benefitting Queenslanders to manage the COVID-19 impacts and future crises.