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  • Writer's pictureDianne Dredge

Business Ideas and Community-led Initiatives

Do you have a business idea or community-led project that might align with regenerative tourism*? Would you like to explore these ideas further? Then we would like to introduce you to the next stage on the Islander Way project and to introduce you to Roberto Daniele from the Changemakers' Lab.

About the accelerator program

We are calling for business ideas and community-led initiatives that have at their core a regenerative vision.

Regenerative tourism is a kind of visitor economy that is in service to local communities and the environment.

Regenerative tourism projects are business ideas that deliver a social and environmental mission and that invest back into the Island, its community, and the future. They tap into the visitors who come to the Island, or contribute to attracting the kinds of visitors you want, and who are consistent with your values and vision for the Island.

The overall aim of this next step of the Islander Way project is to incubate and nurture the kind of visitor activity that the community wants on the Island. These businesses may take a variety of forms, from traditional business models, to not-for-profits, or social enterprises. The key objective is that they are built around:

  • Designing out the negative impacts of tourism, e.g. addressing waste or inappropriate visitor behaviour

  • Designing in the positive benefits and attracting appropriate kinds of visitors e.g. volunteerism, employment generation, experiences that offer genuine connection and respect for the environment

  • Nurturing regenerative mindset, e.g. education, skills development, local spend.

Our ambition in the Islander Way project is to unlock local solutions to local problems using visitors and visitor markets as part of their solution.

Businesses with a social and/or environmental mission

Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. What we are keen to develop and nurture are businesses that re-invest back into the community. It's called community wealth building. It is collective, collaborative and community based, and stands in contrast to businesses that extract wealth from the community or exploit local resources and don't reinvest back into the Island's long term resilience.

On an Island with a small community and a relatively small economic base, it makes perfect sense to reinvest back into the local community and environment. The purpose of a business is underpinned by a deep and enduring set of values about what is important, and the kind of positive impact and legacy that is desired. This social or environmental mission is a core driver of the business model, and it becomes part of the value proposition of the business.

It also makes plain good business sense. Global and Australian research reveals that consumers are increasingly interested in the climate, social justice and environmental issues. They are increasingly concerned about the ethical position of brands. They are also looking for evidence that brands are good global citizens, and they search for evidence not only from the company itself, but also from reviews, testimonials, and evidence from independent research and monitoring sites. Delivering a social and environmental mission is part of the value proposition and mission-based businesses can are increasingly gaining a market advantage by understanding and genuinely engaging with the shift. 'Greenwashing' and false claims of 'being green' are also being called out.

The next steps in the Islander Way involve exploring the opportunities of these shifts, and to identify and nurture such initiatives on Flinders Island.

About Roberto Daniele

Roberto has a depth of experience incubating, accelerating and mentoring social entrepreneurs. Roberto's point of departure is that he understands tourism, hospitality and food businesses having worked with hundreds of start ups during his time in the UK. More recently, he has been a mentor at the Melbourne-based Catalysr program, an award-winning pre-accelerator for early stage startups. Roberto also understands the power of local communities, special places, and creative problem solving. He is a world cycle tourer, having taken three years to ride from Oxford in the UK to Melbourne arriving in 2019. You can ask him about that yourself!

Photo: Dianne Dredge, Roberto Daniele and Pauline Sheldon have worked together on tourism and social entrepreneurship since 2013.

For anyone interested in taking a deep dive into tourism and social entrepreneurship, see the introductory chapter to Pauline and Roberto's book Social Entrepreneurship and Tourism: Setting the Stage.


Register now for the workshop

From community engagement to incubating regenerative ideas and projects

Roberto Daniele, from the Changemakers' Lab will be on the island to kick-off the business and community incubator program with information sessions and an opportunity to explore the possibilities.

Roberto will be holding 2 workshops at the FAEC on: Wednesday 27 April - 4:00-6:30 pm

OR *Friday, 29 April - 4:30 - 7:00 pm (repeat)

*please note the new time for this workshop

We would love to see you there!



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