Social Enterprise Hub unveiled in SA
13 November 2019 at 5:29 pm
South Australian students will be able to explore new models for combining business with good social outcomes
The University of South Australia is looking to strengthen the state’s for-purpose business sector with the launch of a new Social Enterprise Hub.
The hub will take a multidisciplinary, co-design approach to finding business solutions with a measurable social impact, and is comprised of several UniSa institutes and centres.
Pro vice chancellor of business and law Professor Marie Wilson said the hub will connect academics and students with the business community to solve pressing social problems.
She said UniSA saw a major opportunity to advance the case for social entrepreneurship and social innovation in the state.
“We have great talent in running major projects and undertaking important research across a diverse range of areas in the social enterprise sphere from ageing, homelessness, and social inequality through to mental health, sustainability, and child protection,” Wilson said.
“We also have great industry, not-for-profit, and government partners both nationally and internationally.
“But we saw a gap for a single platform that could join the dots, and act as a connector and amplifier. That is the role that the UniSA Social Enterprise Hub will play.”
Wilson said the hub would be a platform to study social entrepreneurship and bring social innovation to life.
She told Pro Bono News while many students were passionate about for-purpose business issues, there was still a knowledge gap the hub would help fill.
“Many of them have knowledge of one or two particular [social business] models, but there’s a broader range of models from co-ops to different kinds of corporations that they’re probably less aware of,” she said.
“And part of the function of the centre is to bring more opportunities and greater understanding to students and the community.”
Wilson added that the hub aimed to create a greater interaction between for-profit and for-purpose enterprises.
“I think South Australia has always been a context where social innovation has been fostered,” she said.
“So what we’re doing is trying to highlight not just the history of social enterprise but also current practice, as well as opening up some conversations around what we can do better in the future.”
Hub members include The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise (TAASE), the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Development, and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) Research Centre.