Our Vision To build thriving rural communities through igniting entrepreneurship in young people and their communities

ACRE is a for-purpose social enterprise with a BIG mission. We want a positive, vibrant future for rural & regional Australia. We believe in lighting a spark for young people to think creatively, to be entrepreneurial, to be innovative and to be supported by their community.

We offer learning & development programs, community brokerage services, advice & support to build entrepreneurial skills in individuals, organisations, government and community. We educate around the emerging model of Social Enterprise as a means of re-generating rural communities in Australia.

ACRE operates the Social Enterprise Academy in Australia through a social license agreement. The Social Enterprise Academy Australia delivers learning and development programs with a focus on learning by doing. The programs are flexible, practical and responsive to the needs of communities and are suitable for a range of learners, from young people through to community organisations and CEO’s.

In 2016 ACRE led the community buyback of the Old Beechworth Gaol through a consortium of local investment and philanthropic support. Over time the site will become a vibrant precinct for the social, cultural and economic benefit of the region.

Our Purpose

To support young people and rural communities to build their entrepreneurial capability and capacity and release new opportunities that rejuvenate rural communities.

 Our values define our work:

  • Find strength and greater impact through working with others
  • See opportunities in challenges
  • Are role models for entrepreneurial thinking and action
  • Prepared to fail in order to succeed
  • Don’t need to find excuses to enjoy ourselves
  • Don’t need to find excuses to enjoy ourselves
  • Take our work seriously, not ourselves
  • Be the bridge-maker between industries, sectors and generations
  • Measure what matters
  • Are tenacious, fiercely independent and nimble

The issue

ACRE is taking a whole of community approach to developing an entreprenuership ecosystem and is playing the role of ‘bridgemaker’ between sectors. In support of the research below our work needs to start early and take a whole of community approach. 

  • By 2020, technology will replace 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies. This will affect every person, every business and every community. Preparing young people who are entrepreneurial-minded innovators is a must. (Australian Learning Lecture, Yong Zhao, Mitchell Institute 2016)
  • Youth unemployment has tripled since 2007 and is up to 50% in some rural areas (Brotherhood, Lost Generation Report 2013)
  • 60% of young people are training for jobs that are unlikely to exist in 10-15 years (FYA, New Work Order, 2015)
  • Young people are not learning the mindset, skills and behaviors required to create their own jobs in the future. From job seeker to job creator!
  • Only 30% of our young people return to rural Australia after leaving for study and career opportunities. (McKenzie, DPCD 2011)

From job seeker to job creator

One of our great challenges is how we prepare students for the 21st century and a knowledge economy that is rapidly changing, highly globalised and uncertain. To date we have successfully prepared students as job seekers for positions and industries with strong employment. However, as we speak these industries are moving employment off-shore and to technology.

Globally there is a fundamental shift towards students being supported to become job creators and not just job seekers through involvement in entrepreneurial learning. We are piloting the potential benefits in our part of the world without having to re-invent the wheel.

Entrepreneurial learning engages a students entire range of talents and results in experiential education that builds leadership, enterprise and employability skills.

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