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A few months after announcing its intent to expand into regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, Melbourne-based social enterprise accelerator One10 will officially launch in Geelong next week.

Working in collaboration with local organisations including Enterprise Geelong, Deakin University, and the Geelong Region Alliance, One10 will run its Amplify and Activate programs as it looks to create a supportive ecosystem in the region for people pursuing business solutions to address environmental and societal problems.

Geoff Gourley, founder of One10, said, “Regional growth in Victoria is booming and Geelong is fast becoming a hub for social enterprise startups. An increasing number of people are turning to business solutions to tackle challenges, and with that shift comes a great need for support infrastructure for the social impact and not-for-profit sector.”

The Activate program looks to help transform ideas into action by helping early stage, purpose-driven entrepreneurs use startup methods to create a business with strong growth potential and a positive impact.

The program is best suited to entrepreneurs that have an idea for a social enterprise or positive impact startup that can develop solutions to real problems across a range of issues, and are inspired to create a business that has the potential to create meaningful change.

The Amplify program, meanwhile, was created to help startups that are more further along develop an appropriate go-to-market strategy, build investment capabilities and raise seed capital. The accelerator has been tailored to suit a range of startups in similar stages of their business life cycle, and is open to startups that have a minimum viable product with aspirations to scale their business.

Gourley said One10 is particularly keen to work with businesses responding to the localised and specific issues facing the wider Geelong region; for example, he said, businesses tackling the problem of lack of secure employment.

Though this has been an issue facing the region for some time, it has been amplified as of late as Geelong’s economy faces the difficult task of transitioning from manufacturing to digital.

One10 will not be alone in trying to tackle these problems, however. It will be joining the likes of Pollenizer, which will next month be running a ‘career exploration’ workshop to help workers who lost their jobs in the closure of the Ford factory explore what to do next.

Also looking to promote tech and entrepreneurship in the area is the Pivot Summit, now in its second year. Set to run on December 2, the event wants to boost the city’s tech sector and encourage innovation within existing organisations by exploring four themes: digital inclusion, entrepreneurship and innovation, jobs of the future, and emerging technologies.

Geelong is the first step in One10’s regional plan, with the organisation looking to expand into areas including Ballarat, Bendigo, Wollongong and Newcastle in the new year.

Applications for the Geelong programs will next month, with subsidies offered for participants. You can learn more here.

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