Evolve Network has been working alongside Unkya LALC over the past 12 months to establish a social enterprise in eco-tourism.
What mattered to Unkya LALC: Establishing an enterprise that would promote Gumbaynggirr Culture and provide employment for local people. Moving from talking about it to doing it. Embedding the skills within the organisation to reduce ongoing need for support.
The Evolve process: Our first step was to garnish seed funding support for the project. A grant from ETC Limited was committed for the ‘market testing’ phase and the project commenced. Rather than sitting around planning and thinking the project was action based and as the skills of the guide Aunty Lisa Wilson grew as did the office and business processes that supported the enterprise. Between October and December 2014 Unkya LALC delivering tour experiences to over 130 people.
In 2014 a local training organisation entered the mix under the sound guidance of local industry icon Robert Palmer and the workforce development activities amplified.
Under IEP funding Evolve Network has continued to work alongside Unkya LALC to develop a business plan for the enterprise and provide coaching for key staff including the inspiring CEO Michele Donovan.
Sustainability: The process we applied through action based learning activities, mentoring and coaching meant that Unkya LALC staff learned as they went. This meant that the skills and learning belong to Unkya LALC and they are transferable between staff. The business development component of the project looked at ways to create a sustainable business model with minimal investment. The enterprise is currently in the marketing phase and will commence full rollout at the end of 2014. A steady pace was essential for the organisation to enable time to step into enterprise thinking and at the same time prepare skilled guides to work within the enterprise.