Free certification for regional social enterprises
31 August 2020 at 5:55 pm
Eligible businesses can also make use of a range of business support tools and expertise
Regional social enterprises will be given free access to Social Traders certification, making it easier for them to win contracts with private businesses and government buyers.
Social Traders certification – launched in 2018 – is designed to verify a social enterprise’s stated social purpose and provide legitimacy for the organisation when offering its services.
While this usually costs $500 a year, Social Traders is making it free for businesses outside of the Melbourne and Sydney metropolitan areas. Certification will apply for one year if they have been operating for less than two years, while enterprises running longer will receive it for two years.
Social Traders managing director David Brookes said this offering would help create commercial opportunities for regional businesses.
He said unlocking the buying power of private sector and government buyers was proven to be the best way to drive social enterprise growth.
“The free introductory service offering is designed to encourage participation in the Social Traders marketplace, stimulate growth and boost social impact for regional social enterprises,” Brookes said.
“We introduced certification to make it easier for buyers to work with social enterprises, and we know that it works – our marketplace demonstrates that.”
Social Traders says more than 1,600 jobs have been created for around 300 certified social enterprises since the scheme was introduced, through $220 million worth of trade with business and government buyers.
Brookes said certification had already helped drive regional social enterprise growth in areas such as Ballarat, Shepparton and Geelong.
He said there was ample opportunity for this growth to extend much further.
“We do know that it is a lot harder for regional social enterprises to connect with larger buyers, given there are less of them outside metropolitan areas. But that doesn’t mean opportunities don’t exist for them – we know they do,” he said.
“There are hundreds of social enterprises growing in regional areas, and many we aren’t even aware of. We’re calling on them to come forward and explore the value of certification.”
Certified businesses will also be given access to a range of business support tools and expertise, along with an identifiable logo for promotional materials.
You can find out more information here.