Support program to help community focused businesses come to life


Friday, 28 January 2022


Central Coast Council is calling on community members who have an idea for a business venture that will make a difference to our community, to participate in this year’s Social Enterprise Launch Pad Program.

An information session will be held on 21 February for interested people to learn more about the free program, which consists of a series of workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions that will run from late March to June 2022.

Council’s Unit Manager Community and Culture, Glenn Cannard said the annual Social Enterprise Launch Pad Program supports the development of innovative new enterprise models within the region and helps to turn community focused business ideas into a reality.

“The free program, which has been running since 2012, provides a step-by-step guide to research, plan, seek funding and establish a social enterprise that benefits our community – whether it be social, environmental or creative,” Mr Cannard said.

“This annual program has helped start-ups, entrepreneurs, not for profit organisations and new businesses with a social vision go on to successfully launch community focused ventures such as the Iris Foundation’s ‘Wings to Succeed’ project.”

Sue Liptrott, Executive Officer of Iris Foundation said taking part in the Social Enterprise Launch Pad Program was a supportive and creative experience.

Ms Liptrott said “In 2021, Iris Foundation was accepted to take part in the Social Enterprise Launch Pad Program and we were so grateful for the opportunity. We were looking to introduce a project that would enhance the existing ‘Because We Care Boutique Central Coast’ and provide further support to women in need. Launch Pad provided not only the construction and formulation of a defined pathway forward, but also valuable marketing tools for immediate use. These were instrumental in creating a platform to apply for grant funding for our new ‘Wings to Succeed’ project and I am happy to say that we were successful in receiving a Council Social Enterprise Grant in 2021 and the project is now underway.”

Sue Bradley, concept founder of SWAMP (Sustainable Wetlands Agriculture Makers Project) Central Coast said that participating in Council’s Social Enterprise Launch Pad Program in 2020 has been key to the start-up success of SWAMP’s community garden project and education and training programs.

Ms Bradley said “The Launch Pad program has given me the confidence to establish lasting relationships with community organisations, to form partnership programs and reach out to local MP’s, government and private organisations as well as Council. The continued mentoring after the program was to me, one of the most helpful resources. I highly recommend this program to anyone wishing to bring their social enterprise ideas to life. Through these conversations I was able to locate a site on crown land for SWAMP Central Coast where people can connect and discover the importance of growing food with sustainable methods and respect to the land and environment.”

Lyndi Leggett, founder of The Scuba Gym was a participant in the social enterprise program in 2019 and runs unique underwater therapy sessions for people living with a disability.

Ms Leggett said “I definitely benefited from the connections I made from the program, and the tutors provided superb advice. I am still working with some of them in a mentoring capacity as I continue to grow this business. I would definitely recommend this program to social entrepreneurs that are committed to getting results.”

Council Administrator Rik Hart expects this year’s program to be bolstered from an increased movement in society to undertake work with a purpose and give back to the community.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has many people rethinking their careers and long-term goals and want to use their skills and talents to help others and service their community,” Mr Hart said.

“I expect this year’s program will attract an increased number of participants and look forward to seeing what social enterprise ideas will come to the table for the benefit our region.” 

This year’s development program will be delivered in partnership between Council, Business Centre and Community Compass.


Social Enterprise Launch Pad Information Session

An online information session will be held on Monday 21 February 2022. To secure a spot email Greg Combes at Central Coast Council 

Social Enterprise Program

The workshop program is delivered face-to-face in Gosford and will consist of a series of workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions that will run from late March to June 2022.
Expressions of interest submissions close on 14 March 2022.

For more information on this program search ‘social enterprise’ at or email



Editor Notes

About Iris Foundation
Iris Foundation works primarily on the Central Coast of New South Wales to help reduce the risk of suicide by facilitating and supporting awareness campaigns, programs and partnerships which enhance community connectedness and well-being.

Current mental health research identifies several protective factors that reduce a person’s risk of suicide. Accordingly, Iris Foundation’s work in the Central Coast community focuses on three key factors that contribute to good mental health: resilience, hope and connections.

Find out more at 

About SWAMP (Sustainable Wetlands Agriculture Makers Project)
SWAMP brings together expertise form various fields to run a sustainable community garden and learning hub. Everyone in the community is welcome to join in to connect, discover and learn about the sustainable practices of growing food while respecting the land and environment. SWAMP’s success is also credited to the brilliant core team who all said 'yes' from the beginning and who share a common vision: 'cultivating food and community culture'. It is such a diverse team sharing so many brilliant attributes which is why community gardening matters. Community gardens are the hub for health for the wider surrounding communities. A place to gather, meet new friends, learn to grow food and ways to be sustainable in your own home and more importantly, to connect in with your community. SWAMP also partners with other local organisations such as Youth Connections and the Glen Centre to support in training, education and connection into community.

SWAMP is located at the Central Coast Wetlands also known as the Pioneer Dairy alongside the Wyong River at Tuggerah.

For more information on SWAMP and to sign up for news go to

About the Scuba Gym 
The Scuba Gym provides Scuba Therapy for people with a disability. It provides unique therapy in a weightless environment which allows the therapist to exercise their clients, so they heal and rehabilitate in wonderful ways. This therapy can improve lung function, boost their lymphatic system, and stimulate their nervous systems so they feel stronger and are both mentally and physically stronger. The proven results and improved function and strength is amazing.

The Scuba Camps are run a few times a year, provide a whole day out and a range of activities for people with Autism or Down Syndrome. All the campers get buddied up with a qualified diver and get to experience scuba, enjoy a range of water-based activities, plus some quiet arts and crafts time. It’s a wonderful experience and builds self-esteem and self confidence in participants, as well as being a social and fun day out. To book or for more information please contact Lyndi on 0420 380 055 or or head to


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Last updated : Fri 28 Jan 2022