Empowering Entrepreneurs to Drive Innovation and Economic Growth in the Region

Over 70 individuals, including community members, entrepreneurs, and local leaders, gathered to celebrate the official opening of Social Co. House, located in the heart of Moree CBD on the evening of Monday, 4 December.

Social Co. House is a purpose-built creative, co-working and event space built in a collaborative partnership between UNE SMART Region Incubator, Moree Plains Shire Council, through the Greenhouse Project, and local businessman man Tyler Macey of Social Co. House – a testament to the power of regional collaboration and the commitment to fostering entrepreneurship.

The Greenhouse Project, initiated by the Moree Plains Shire Council and funded by the Australian Government under the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program in 2020, aims to support and encourage businesses in the Moree Plains Shire.

Notable speakers Aunty Barbara Cutmore, the Hon. Mark Coulton, MP for Parkes, Hon. Adam Marshall, MP for the Northern Tablelands, Professor Chris Moran, Vice Chancellor and CEO of the University of New England, Councillor Susannah Pearse, Deputy Mayor of Moree Plains Shire Council, Lou Conway, Director of UNE SRI, and Tyler Macey, co-CEO of Social Co. House, spoke to mark the special occasion.

Hon. Mark Coulton, the member for Parkes and a long-term advocate for the project, officially declared Social Co. House open. In his address, Mr Coulton highlighted the importance of diversifying regional economies with value-added industries. He noted the integral role spaces like Social Co. House play in fostering innovation and collaboration, which is essential for developing new industries and businesses in the region.

Professor Chris Moran, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of the University of New England, spoke about the UNE’s commitment to connecting regional and remote students, supporting education in these areas, and fostering community building and connection.

Deputy Mayor Susannah Pearse, one of the project’s earliest visionaries, shared the story of the beginning of the Social Co. House, including the fortuitous meeting that brought together two projects looking to create a co-working space in Moree.

Lou Conway, Director of UNE SRI, expressed gratitude to both the Moree Plains Shire Council for supporting the project and Social Co. House for delivering a beautifully designed, professional and welcoming co-working space in the centre of Moree.

Tyler Macey shared his tales of transforming a long-vacated shopfront into an unrecognisable space that wouldn’t be out-of-place in the CBD of any capital city worldwide, the history of the building, the challenges he and the Social Co. Team faced and his vision for the thriving, energetic hub that Social Co. House will become.

To conclude the formal proceedings, Member for Northern Tablelands, Hon. Adam Marshall, highlighted the essential role that Social Co. House will play in supporting the diversification of Moree’s local economy, particularly considering the Moree Special Activation Precinct.

After the official proceedings, guests enjoyed informal tours of the state-of-the-art Social Co. House offices, co-working desks, community areas, boardroom, and the soon-to-be-opened cafe, bar, and event space.

Social Co. House’s early success highlights regional start-ups’ positive impact on addressing critical challenges and creating real solutions to benefit communities in rural and regional NSW and beyond. The UNE SMART Region Incubator remains committed to supporting and promoting innovation in Moree, contributing to the local communities’ economic and social development through educational events, mentorship, and networking opportunities.