The Upper Murray Community Garage (UMCG) Story:
UMCG is the 2nd social enterprise venture started in the Upper Murray by Corryong Neighbourhood Centre (CNC) using the same model as the first – the Upper Murray Community Bakery in Corryong.
The key aspects of this model are:
- to promote and support youth employment & ongoing education
- to be financially viable and self-sustaining within a reasonable timeframe
- to be managed by an experienced industry professional with training skills and a community focus with business and administrative support from the CNC team
- to rejuvenate an existing or establish a unique new business to meet an identified gap in current services and supplies
We have been able to set up UMCG thanks to a philanthropic grant from the William Buckland Foundation (WBF) to purchase the premises and a low rate commercial loan from Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA), who provided the funding for the Bakery, to renovate the building and equip the workshop. Start up support until UMCG becomes profitable comes from the Bakery.
Profits generated from CNC social enterprises are used to repay debt, then re-invest in the businesses, then to support the operations of the CNC, then to invest more broadly in the Upper Murray Community to promote growth and innovation.