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Missing piece of the NSW and ACT social enterprise scene launches

7 July 2020 at 5:09 pm
Maggie Coggan
Leaders of new state network say there has never been a better time to support the growth of NSW and ACT social enterprises 

Maggie Coggan | 7 July 2020 at 5:09 pm


Missing piece of the NSW and ACT social enterprise scene launches
7 July 2020 at 5:09 pm

Leaders of new state network say there has never been a better time to support the growth of NSW and ACT social enterprises 

New South Wales and ACT social enterprises are being urged to sign up to the newest state-based network on the block, the Social Enterprise Council of New South Wales and the ACT. 

The peak body, which will represent, advocate for, and raise awareness of social enterprises across NSW and the ACT, officially launched last week with the announcement of its inaugural membership drive. 

The council (SECNA) joins Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory in establishing its own council, and has already signed up to the national alliance of networks advocating to the federal government for a sustainable post-COVID economy. 

Margaret O’Brien, SECNA board member and the CEO of Young Change Agents, told Pro Bono News the council was the final missing piece for social enterprises in the region. 

“We’ve never had a membership group where we can all come together to advocate for and raise awareness of the social enterprise sector, as well as build greater connections between social enterprise, intermediaries, and governments,” O’Brien said. 

“This brings all of those players together and sets an agenda, which is something we’re really missing in the ACT and New South Wales.” 

She said despite the COVID-induced challenges facing social enterprises at the moment, the crisis presented an opportunity for the sector to step up and tackle the problem head on.

“All of these crises we’re going through only heighten the need for businesses that have purpose baked into them,” she said. 

“Social enterprises and social entrepreneurs are innovative and they aren’t going to just sit and wait for these problems to go away and change, they can change their models to reflect the need and the issues that are happening right now.” 

The SECNA board is made up of a cross-section of social enterprise representatives including Ben Pecotich, design and innovation director at Dynamic4; Cindy Mitchell, CEO at The Mill House Ventures; Kylie Flament, general manager at Green Connect; Laura O’Reilly, CEO at Fighting Chance Australia; Lee Cooper, founder of radicalbox; Tess Ariotti, social impact at Allianz; and Tom Dawkins, CEO and founder of StartSomeGood. 

To be eligible for voting rights as an industry member, an organisation must provide “clear evidence that it trades primarily for a social purpose and has or is working towards sourcing the majority of revenue through trade”.

Organisation memberships cost $100 per year, and individual memberships are $50 for the year. 

More information on memberships can be found here.

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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