NDIS Criterion
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Events, General, Good Business, Social Enterprise

Aus Social Enterprise: Leaving History Behind


Wednesday, 3rd December 2014 at 9:58 am
Lina Caneva, Editor
Improved communication about social outcomes is needed to overcome the “bad taste” left by the “dressed-up charity programs” of social enterprise's early days in Australia, according to panelists at a Sydney conference.

Wednesday, 3rd December 2014
at 9:58 am
Lina Caneva, Editor


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Aus Social Enterprise: Leaving History Behind
Wednesday, 3rd December 2014 at 9:58 am

Improved communication about social outcomes is needed to overcome the “bad taste” left by the “dressed-up charity programs” of social enterprise's early days in Australia, according to panelists at a Sydney conference.

The session on social enterprise  at Think Outcomes was facilitated by Associate Professor Cheryl Kernot, Director of Social Business, Centre for Social Impact, who joined Lisa Boothby, Head of Enterprise Investment Readiness, Social Traders; Steve Williams, Enterprise Director, SEED PPM; and Matt Pfahlert from the social enterprise, The Beehive Project.

Asked to imagine the social enterprise sector ten years down the line without any change, Steve Williams warned that the sector “wouldn’t be able to argue our case to Government about the benefits that we know intuitively in social enterprise….and we wouldn’t be able to attract new players to the sector and to the market.”

“We’ve got to rebuild,” Pfahlert added.

“In the early days of social enterprise development here in Australia, we spent a lot of money on projects that were dressed-up charity programs. They didn’t have the commercial underpinnings of a business.

“You know what, that’s left a really bad taste in a lot of funders and policy-makers’ mouths. It’s an absolute disgrace it was allowed to happen.”

The outspoken Pfahlert said the sector was stuck from a lack of leadership and the fact it still wasn’t widely known what a social enterprise was.

“There isn’t a peak body for social enterprise in Australia… we don’t have a political champion who’s banging the drum, saying, ýou know what, this social enterprise thing is the real deal. It could be beyond the margins of business margins and right in the guts as a hybrid model. But we don’t have anyone doing that.”

Pfahlert who spent time in the UK as part of his Churchill Fellowship, said he observed that the country had a 10-15 year jump on Australia in how they looked at social value models, business and community ownership, and spoke of the role of political figures in championing the movement there.

“When you’ve got that kind of leadership, it’s very easy to get people into the room,” he said.  

“Tanya Plibersek is one person I can point to, about the only one, who has championed social enterprise in a policy sense,” Associate Professor Cheryl Kernot from the Centre for Social Impact, said.

“We did have the Social Enterprise Development and Investment Funds (SEDIF), the $40 million, but I think there was a classical problem there – money, but not capacity building. Not enough social enterprises investment ready.  The other countries seem to have matched that much better than we have so far.”   

Steve Williams spoke of his experience working with the Queensland Government as Chair of Queensland Social Enterprise Council.

“They’re very interested in outcome measurement, and in impact measurement,” he said.  

“If we can really clearly engage some outcomes and impacts it’s going to engage some star entrepreneurs [in addition to funding] and I think we’d be able to grow changemaking [Government] policies, especially in social procurement.”  

Social Traders’ Lisa Boothby said she was also optimistic.

“We’re making progress but I think that comes from the context of a reasonably low base. Social enterprise and the frameworks around it in Australia are relatively new.

“Social enterprise needs to be measured both on its financial and its social impact even if the investor is philanthropic and the money does not require repayment. Ultimately that social enterprise, if it’s not financially viable, can’t deliver the social outcomes.”

Think Outcomes, hosted by the Centre for Social Impact in partnership with the Social Impact Measurement Network of Australia (SIMNA) and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), is focused on the measurement, analysis, evaluation and communication of social outcomes.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

FEATURED SUPPLIERS


Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

HLB Mann Judd is a specialist Accounting and Advisory firm t...

HLB Mann Judd

Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

More Suppliers


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Job Creation Facilitated Through Social Enterprise Procurement

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th November 2017 at 2:23 pm

Social Enterprise Rallies Army of Burrito Lovers to Fight World Hunger

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 1st November 2017 at 8:53 am

‘Helping a Sister’ Restore Dignity

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 1st November 2017 at 8:16 am

Online Reporting Tool For Social Enterprises

Lina Caneva

Friday, 27th October 2017 at 12:14 pm

POPULAR

Disability Advocacy Group Fights to Restore State Funding

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th November 2017 at 8:37 am

Red Cross Moves to Wage-Based Fundraising Model

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 8:30 am

New Same-Sex Marriage Bill Looks to Protect Faith-Based Charities

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th November 2017 at 5:25 pm

Donors Looking for a Personalised Experience to Give More – Study

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 8th November 2017 at 1:43 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


NDIS Criterion
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!