Collaboration to Map Social Enterprise in Australia
6 July 2009 at 4:54 pm
The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (CPNS) at QUT, working with Social Traders, are mapping the social enterprise sector across Australia.
Through an online survey, Finding Australia’s Social Enterprise Sector(FASES) will determine the number of Australian social enterprises, the areas in which they operate, and their social and economic contributions.
The survey will provide the information for an online social enterprise directory, to promote the goods and services of the sector to the public, governments, business, and each other.
With the data gathered, the CPNS research team and Social Traders will produce:
• a national online directory of social enterprises across Australia
• a summary of the findings.
The research summary will be published online, and will be available to the public.
The FASES website describes social enterprises as using trade to create social, cultural or environmental value. The majority of social enterprises are Not for Profit or limited profit distributing businesses, although some take on a for profit social business form.
The website says there has been growing interest by governments, business, the Not for Profit sector and philanthropy in social enterprise in Australia over the past decade.
This reflects a growing need for creative responses to complex social and environmental problems, as well as new pressures on NFP organisations to diversify their income sources.
Australia has a strong history of social enterprise in the form of cooperatives, friendly societies and nonprofit business ventures such as opportunity shops. It is also home to a wide variety of new forms of social enterprise that operate within a range of different industries and fulfill their social objectives through many different creatively conceived forms.
Despite growing interest in social enterprise, the researchers say they know relatively little about the dimensions or impacts of Australia’s social enterprise sector.
They say the purpose of the FASES project is to map the range and scope of social enterprises in Australia. The research will be used to determine the number of Australian social enterprises, the geographic and industry areas in which they operate, and their social and economic contributions.
The details of the project were outlined at the launch of Social Traders in Melbourne recently which has been set up to encourage and support social enterprise development in Australia.
Community Development Minister Peter Batchelor launched Social Traders, which is an independent social enterprise development organisation established through a four-year partnership between the Brumby Labor Government and a private family foundation.
Batchelor also announced the Victorian Government would provide more than $350,000 in Community Enterprise Grants to 14 organisations across Victoria that are providing vulnerable Victorians a chance to participate in the workforce.
To register your interest in participating in the FASES survey, please contact the research team: firstname.lastname@example.org
The FASES web site is at: www.socialeconomy.net.au
The Social Traders website is at www.socialtraders.com.au