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Abstract

This paper explores the impact of the “Innovation Farm,” a social innovation project that aimed to help long-term unemployed, highly disadvantaged jobseekers living on the Coffs Coast of the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, overcome barriers to employment and/or further training. The project was delivered by the Coffs Harbour Employment Support Services (CHESS), a not-for-profit, social enterprise organisation. It was funded from 2009-2012 by the Australian Federal Government’s Department of Employment Education and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) through the Department’s Innovation Fund. The research found that whilst the project achieved a commendable level of success its on-going viability was compromised by a failure to communicate the project’s long–term potential to both the funding body and the parent organisation. A number of lessons were also identified for policy makers particularly as regards the management and funding of any future public/private social innovation partnerships.

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