26 September 2022 Mary Anne Scully

Strengthening Social Cohesion

Strengthening Social Cohesion: A new partnership between ANU and ACRE

Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE) is partnering with The Australian National University (ANU), who will be conducting research on how rural entrepreneurship and social enterprise can promote social cohesion in communities.

Social Cohesion is critical for any society to be sustainable and is a key enabler of economic growth, as well as reducing poverty and uncertainty.

This partnership will explore the evidence of social cohesion in Australia’s regions – what contributes to it, and what could be done differently to strengthen it. In addition to identifying all policy levers, the partnership between ANU and ACRE will  also explore how we can use both public and private sector assets more effectively to drive social cohesion.

This research provides an excellent opportunity to continue building upon the growth of social enterprise in Australia and highlights how this type of economic development is a key factor in strengthening community cohesion.

The purpose of this partnership is to build on the mutual strengths of both organizations.

The extensive knowledge and experience of ANU in understanding socio-economic dynamics, research and impact measurement will help adapt ACRE’s methodology to their context. On the other hand, ANU will benefit from ACRE’s access to local networks, deep knowledge across a variety of disciplines, and its reputation as a leading rural entrepreneur.

Both organisations have an interest and a role in building social cohesion nationally and look forward to exploring how to bring this to life.

ACRE is a social enterprise on a mission to help empower rural communities through entrepreneurship.

ANU is Australia’s premier research university who are leading the field in Social Cohesion through the ASCEND project and an orrganization with a strong track record of impact measurement.

Pictured left to right: Zhiwen Zheng (ANU), Ruby Power  (ANU), Israr Qureshi (ANU), Babita Bhatt (ANU), Karla Florance (ACRE), Matt Pfahlert (ACRE), James Gordon (ANU), Clayton Neil (ACRE, Mary-Anne Scully (ACRE)