We regularly interview, feature and promote Pollinators members. This time we meet Catalyst participant, Elizabeth Mackay.
Catalyst is Western Australia’s only support program for social entrepreneurs. Find out more about what is happening here.
Elizabeth Mackay is participating in the Pollinators Catalyst program to focus and guide her work developing a new not for profit social enterprise in the Mid West.
The proposed, Smart Targets, takes a partnership and integrated approach to bringing together local sustainable initiatives, and promoting individual products that sustain healthy lives and living. Currently in the research phase, Smart Targets is partnering with the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council to look into the feasibility of an online sustainability directory which could provide a match-making service to help smart people find sustainable businesses, products and services, and smart providers find their target market.
Elizabeth will attend the upcoming Sustainable Energy and Innovation Expo on 18 August at the QEII to conduct a survey to determine the need for and shape of, an online sustainability directory.
“Survey participants will be thanked with a home-grown branch of Geraldton Wax flowers while stocks last. There will also be information about healthy homes and living at the stand that may be an eye-opener for some,” Elizabeth said.
With 12 years of public service experience in Community Service and Communication roles and a personal commitment to healthy living and sustainability, Elizabeth has passion and drive to commit to the project.
She came to Geraldton from Canberra two years ago to fill a position at the Indigenous Coordination Centre and try out life beside the Indian Ocean. Upon arriving she found it difficult to locate sustainable goods and services.
“I wanted to do some renovations, and it wasn’t easy locating recycled wood, and sustainable builders and other tradies. I thought if I’m having difficulty surely others are too,” she said.
Elizabeth says this problem developed into the idea for a sustainability directory. Earlier this year when she decided to make a change from work in the public service, support from Pollinators encouraged her to start on the project in earnest.
“I didn’t leave thinking I am going to establish a social enterprise, and if a group like Pollinators wasn’t here I wouldn’t have contemplated it”, she said.
Structure and details of the directory are still being developed and Elizabeth is researching community and business needs and different ways to collaborate.
Elizabeth is also hopeful that a children’s initiative in Mullewa, she is working on, will receive support. The proposed two year project in partnership with the City will emerge through strong community engagement. She said working from City Hive is very useful in the process of applying for funding.
“Working here at City Hive I became aware of what other people are doing. So I was able to put in a proposal that brought in a lot of other expertise,” she said.
If you would like to be consulted on the proposed online sustainability directory please come to the QEII on the 18th or get in touch with Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a survey or have a chat.