Corporates offer a helping hand to struggling social enterprises
1 May 2020 at 3:28 pm
Companies including Westpac, MinterEllison, and Boston Consulting Group will provide pro bono business support
Social enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can utilise the skills of corporate Australia to solve their business challenges, thanks to a new social sector partnership.
Westpac Foundation, Social Impact Hub and Social Traders have launched a new initiative giving social enterprises access to pro bono support in key areas such as finance, business strategy and human resources.
Jessica Roth, founder and CEO of the Social Impact Hub, said this could mean getting help pivoting a business model to find potential new revenue streams or finding ways to adjust financial plans to stablise cashflow.
“We are thrilled to partner with Westpac Foundation and Social Traders to deliver this critical support to social enterprises at a time where it is so desperately needed,” Roth said.
“Social enterprises are critical to our social fabric and we hope this program will help the sector emerge from the crisis intact, and with the potential to grow.”
Companies including Westpac, MinterEllison, and Boston Consulting Group are taking part in the initiative, with employees volunteering their time to offer pro bono business support.
Eligible social enterprises will be given a dedicated support team for three to six months, matched to their needs after an initial scoping process.
Westpac Foundation CEO Susan Bannigan said the initiative built on the foundation’s work supporting social enterprises for more than a decade.
“We have had great success with our existing Westpac pro bono support program for our community partners,” Bannigan said.
“Working in collaboration with other corporates and industry partners, Social Impact Hub and Social Traders, to extend this support to the entire social enterprise sector is something I hope many businesses will take advantage of.
“There are so many professional employees who are ready to give their time and expertise to help.”
Social Traders managing director David Brooks encouraged businesses to make the most of this opportunity.
“Social enterprises address today’s most entrenched social and environmental challenges and it’s critical that tailored assistance for retention of these businesses flows now rather than rebuilding from scratch in 12 months’ time,” Brooks said.
Organisations can review the eligibility guidelines and express their interest here.