Every project, organisation and business starts off just as an idea, a seed, of something that might grow.
These ‘seeds’ are key to the regeneration of our communities and economies ~ which rely upon the creation of new ideas, dreams, projects, programs and enterprises in order to continue to survive and thrive.
In every community, every year, many individuals have many such ideas. However, few of these ‘seeds’ get the chance they deserve of being assessed to see just how viable and valuable they are. Further, very few get much in the way of support to see if they might strike ~ growing from seed to seedling, so to speak. Often, the person with the idea doesn’t have the background and experience to be able to assess and develop their idea further.
Added to these barriers is the fact that most mainstream advisory and business services ~ such as incubators, business enterprise centres, accountants, financial advisers, trade and regional development bodies ~ are focused on seeking or supporting medium-to-large and well established players.
This is where Community Regeneration comes in.
“It holds through the whole of creation that the great and the small have need, one for the other.”
~ Aesop’s Fables
“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”
~ Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Community Regeneration provides a no or low cost service to support people to determine their next move with their idea. This clarity comes from a well facilitated process to test and assess the potential of each and every idea to identify key issues, challenges and needs.
This service fills a critical gap and provides an essential service to support the ongoing creativity and regeneration of communities ~ particularly those that are small, rural and remote.
These small ‘seeds’ can make a big impact too. For instance, the micro-economy ~ that is, the day to day economic activity of individuals, families and micro-to-small businesses and organisations ~ accounts for, in Australia, as much as 84% to 100% (in many rural communities) of all enterprise, employment and spending (after excluding government).
The program has been created by Bob Neville, one of Australia’s longest serving economic development practitioners, and incorporates the lessons from decades of hands-on, real-world facilitation work in, for and with small communities.
The seeds of small community regeneration
The formula for small community regeneration
Community Regeneration is currently working to establish a mix of ‘model’ communities to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program and its potential to truly regenerate small communities which are facing significant challenges or are in decline.
The following communities are currently working with the program:
Urana & Federation Shire, New South Wales
Brockville, New Zealand
Temora Shire, New South Wales
Wheatbelt Eastern Region, Western Australia
Micro-Facilitator Training and career potential
Community Regeneration is looking to recruit other Micro-Facilitators who will be provided with training and support to be able to lead the regeneration of their community.
Starfish is working with Bob Neville to identify ways for Community Regneration to grow and realise its full potential. We are actively promoting the program through our networks and pro-actively approaching prospective participants.
There is a pointy part to this partnership as well, which is the need to develop the program beyond it’s founder and creator. We are actively seeking micro-facilitators who are interested to consider becoming trained and involved to make this work available more widely and sustainably into the future.
Starfish is also acting as auspice to support this need for long-term sustainability, and being able to carry forward the intellectual property and other program assets into the future.