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Social Enterprise Awards

14 February 2013 at 10:02 am
Staff Reporter
An initiative to recognise the achievements of Australia’s social enterprise movement has been unveiled by Jan Owen, social entrepreneur and CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians.

Staff Reporter | 14 February 2013 at 10:02 am


Social Enterprise Awards
14 February 2013 at 10:02 am

An initiative to recognise the achievements of Australia’s social enterprise movement has been unveiled by Jan Owen, social entrepreneur and CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians.

The Australian Social Enterprise Awards (SE Awards), to be held in June 2013, are looking for the men and women who are transforming capitalism and running businesses that most benefits society, communities and workers.

“Social enterprise is a truly global phenomenon, with some of the most well-known local examples including Bendigo Community Banks (as distinct from the parent Bendigo Bank), Opportunity Shops, Community Childcare Centres and The Big Issue magazine,” Owen said.

“There is currently a groundswell of interest in social enterprise from government, philanthropy and corporate business around the benefits of social enterprise – creating jobs, providing services and sharing profits in order to support community organisations.

“An estimated 20,000 social enterprises are now operating in every industry of the Australian economy, throughout regional, remote and metro areas. The field is innovative, mature and sustainable with 60% of enterprises surveyed operating for at least 10 years.

“ABS data shows 39% of income in the Not for Profit sector is earned through trade, indicating over a $29.5 billion contribution of social enterprise activity just in the NFP sector” Owen said.

The SE Awards have been instigated by Social Traders – a social enterprise development organisation based in Melbourne, in partnership with Foresters Community Finance, a community development finance organisation based in Brisbane.

“The launch of this Awards initiative coincides with growing interest across the government, philanthropic, community and business sectors in the potential of social enterprise to respond to challenging community and environmental issues,” David Brookes, Managing Director of Social Traders said.

“The National Social Enterprise Awards Program will build further awareness and recognition of the diversity and innovation of successful social enterprise activity around Australia.”

“As the social enterprise sector in Australia continues to grow, it is timely to recognise the contribution the sector is making not only to the economy but also to our society, our environment and cultural outcomes,” CEO of Foresters Community Finance Belinda Drew said.

“Awards programs generally are a device to celebrate the achievements and capability of a sector. It is also about celebrating the achievements being made by many people, together and as individuals, who are going about the task of strengthening the social enterprise sector in Australia.”

The SE Award winners will be decided by a panel of business and social enterprise judges and announced at a ceremony to be held in Melbourne in early June 2013.

Social Enterprise Awards Categories

  • Social Enterprise of the Year – employing less than 20 people
  • Social Enterprise of the Year – employing 21 or more people
  • Youth-Led* Social Enterprise of the Year – *under 30 as at 1 Jan 2013
  • Social Enterprise Innovation Award
  • Social Procurement SE Supporter of the Year

Applications open 25 February until 21 March 2013

For more information visit:

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