Here's how to get help getting your idea off the ground

By Jason Smith

It's amazing how many people in Geraldton have a great idea for a new business, social enterprise or community venture.

After the seeds of the idea are planted, perhaps the biggest challenge is working out what the first step is. 

Stories of "most ventures fail", along with the amount of daunting paperwork and red tape stops most people before they even begin.

Local business and social enterprise group Pollinators is changing all that, running their successful "Catalyst" course now in its second year. 

Catalyst is a 4-month, 7-session training program that accelerates the growth of ‘social ventures’ — innovative projects and organisations who prioritise community benefit over personal profit. The program is unique in Australia for its regional focus, its emphasis on the long-term financial and social sustainability of the ventures, and a community-supported approach that utilises a mix of experienced mentors, expert coaches and peer networks to grow ‘good’ ideas.

At a recent event called Growing Good that included Catalyst members and others, the amount of amazing ideas and ventures happening in Geraldton was mind blowing. These weren't local government inspired initiatives, they were born from locals who had an idea or a passion and decided to roll up their sleeves and make it happen.

One that stood out was an app to enable Indigenous students to read and write English, Wajarri and Aboriginal English to maintain their cultural heritage and language. 

Catalyst will run again in 2014 and Expressions of Interest in sponsorship, participation or mentoring should be directed to Andrew Outhwaite, Executive Officer of Pollinators Inc: 0466694702