Money and Research For Social Entrepreneurs
9 April 2009 at 4:01 pm
Social Ventures Australia (SVA) has launched a national ‘Catalyst Campaign’ to raise $10 million over three years to accelerate the growth and impact of social ventures.
SVA is a Not for Profit organisation that aligns the interests of philanthropists with the needs of social entrepreneurs to address some of Australia’s most pressing social problems.
SVA chief executive, Michael Traill says the Catalyst Campaign is designed to support targeted and proven programs which take clear steps to address key areas of social need.
Traill says SVA-supported ventures touched the lives of 50,000 Australians for the better in 2008. Over the past seven years the ventures have seen a 64 per cent increase in funding and revenue and a 54 per cent increase in participants.
Traill says in these uncertain financial times, the campaign’s funding will provide some security to the ventures SVA supports, giving them a guaranteed source of funding to help them to grow, increase their impact and become more sustainable.’
He also welcomed the Federal Government’s recent efforts to address the challenges of supporting social innovation and social entrepreneurs.
He says the Government rightly recognises the need for new models of cross-sector partnership that help identify and support innovative social programs.
Speaking in Sydney at the launch of the Catalyst Campaign, Pamela Hartigan, director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Oxford Saïd School of Business, said SVA’s work in supporting innovative and creative solutions is vitally needed.
Hartigan says SVA has been an important driver of the call for greater transparency and accountability in the social sector which will be key factors in changing a system which is not fulfilling its potential to deliver real and lasting social change. Importantly, SVA is able to prove that its model makes a real difference to the social ventures they support.
She says there is an urgent need to find and fund social entrepreneurs. Around the world, traditional solutions for providing welfare have failed to deliver real impact.
Pamela Hartigan is also the first managing director of the Schwab Foundation, an international group which promotes social entrepreneurship as a key element to advance societies and address social problems.
In the meantime there is to be new research into social enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Jo Barraket, Associate Professor of Social Enterprise at the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (CPNS) has embarked -with the support of the Westpac Foundation and QUT -on a three year applied research program on social enterprise and entrepreneurship.
The purpose of the program is to contribute in practical ways to the social enterprise sector and the environment in which it operates as well as advancing conceptual debates about social enterprise, social innovation and the nature of the social economy in a network era.
Barraket says she respectfully acknowledges the leadership of expert practitioners in the field and the contributions of academic colleagues working in the area nationally and internationally.