Job Creation Facilitated Through Social Enterprise Procurement
9 November 2017 at 2:23 pm
Australia’s leading social enterprise development organisation is set to embark on a new strategic direction, with the aim of creating 1,500 jobs for disadvantaged Australians over the next four years.
Melbourne based not for profit Social Traders, announced last week it will now focus exclusively on job creation through social enterprise procurement.
Social Traders has previously advocated for social procurement to support the social enterprise sector, but will now exclusively focus on procurement, which it said has potential to create major social change.
Social Traders CEO, David Brookes, told Pro Bono News that his organisation would be focused on helping employment generating enterprises to win more contracts.
“Social Traders is looking to play a key connection role that helps social enterprises to win more work, more contracts with private sector and government buyers,” Brookes said.
“Our work will primarily be focused on employment generating enterprises providing a broad range of business services such as cleaning, waste and recycling, catering and hospitality, printing and packaging, transport and logistics along with other administration service.”
Brookes said social procurement helped to facilitate job creation – with the organisation hoping a procurement spend of $105 million will create 1,500 jobs.
“Procurement in Australia amounts to around $600 billion per annum and we estimate that for every $100,000 spent on procuring from social enterprise, 1.5 jobs are created for disadvantaged Australians,” he said.
“To create 1,500 jobs over the next four years, Social Traders will facilitate $105 million in procurement by building a community of 95 Social Traders buyer members and 600 Social Traders certified social enterprise suppliers here in Victoria and other states.”
He described social procurement through social enterprise as “one of the greatest untapped tools for positive social impact in Australia”.
“Opening up new market opportunities for social enterprise has always been a core plank of Social Traders objectives. After piloting a successful social enterprise procurement service over the 18 months and with the emergence of a far more positive social procurement policy environment, this new direction makes a lot of sense for Social Traders,” he said.
“Social Traders is well placed to play an important intermediary role to unlock the massive potential of social enterprise procurement by facilitating deals with private sector and government buyers.
“Our new strategy will make Social Traders the leading organisation connecting social enterprises with social procurement opportunities and supporting social enterprise to successfully deliver on the contracts they win.”
Brookes also encouraged the corporate and government sectors to get involved with social impact, stating they had a lot to offer the social enterprise movement.
“By adopting a more purposeful approach to purchasing, business and government have the power to create real change and bring disadvantaged people back into the labour market; whether they’re young people, people with a disability, the long term unemployed or recently arrived migrants and refugees,” he said.
“We know that putting social enterprises into organisational supply chains is a competitive and rigorous process, and that gaining visibility of these businesses is a challenge.
“To make this process easier, we’ve developed a system of certiﬁcation that provides our buyer members with surety and simplicity in identifying social enterprises, and being able to work with them.”
He said his organisation’s role was to work as the broker between their buyer and supplier members, allowing them to be matched on the basis of need and suitability.
“We currently have 200 Social Traders certified social enterprises and 18 business and government buyer members. In the 2017 financial year, Social Traders has facilitated approximately $20 million in procurement deals… and we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.”