Community Capacity Builders Program for Social Entrepreneurs has been purposefully designed to be delivered in partnership with Local Government as a Challenge Lab.
Challenge Labs address a specific wicked problem in a geographical community. Wicked problems are complex social policy problems. This type of problem is hard to resolve as each wicked problem takes place within a unique context and has many interconnected root causes. Examples of wicked problems include: long-term unemployment, climate change, food insecurity, ageing populations and homelessness.
Challenge Labs also build community capacity. Community capacity building involves building the networks, organisation, attitudes, leadership and skills that allow communities to manage change and sustain community-led development.
When delivered as a Challenge Lab, each participant in the Program for Social Entrepreneurs is challenged to address a complicated problem within the target complex wicked problem. They take up this challenge by creating or strengthening an initiative that can be institutionalised as a social enterprise.
A participatory budgeting process is incorporated into each Challenge Lab which provides participants with the opportunity to:
- develop relationships with a broad range of community stakeholders that have an interest in the Challenge Lab's target wicked problem, and
- receive funds towards the implementation of their initiative
Steps in the Challenge Lab process include:
- Form a Reference Group for the Challenge Lab that consists of stakeholders from the target community that have an interest in the Challenge Lab's target wicked problem
- Obtain prizes for the Challenge Lab
- Recruit participants for the Challenge Lab
- Participants undertake Community Capacity Builders Program for Social Entrepreneurs
- Mentors are recruited that have knowledge and/or experience in the Challenge Lab's target wicked problem
- Program participants are matched to mentors
- Participants theory of change, business model canvas and pitch deck are forwarded to their mentors
- Participant's initiatives are promoted to all stakeholders in the community that have an interest in the Challenge Lab's target wicked problem
- Prizes are awarded through a participatory budgeting process with the winners decided by members of the community that have an interest in the wicked problem
Community Capacity Builders has developed 3 programs that support communities to facilitate a Challenge Lab: