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Activating the Social Enterprise National Strategy

10 November 2021 at 4:35 pm
Wendy Williams
“Imagine if we had a National Social Enterprise Strategy for Australia. We’re now on our way.” 

Wendy Williams | 10 November 2021 at 4:35 pm


Activating the Social Enterprise National Strategy
10 November 2021 at 4:35 pm

“Imagine if we had a National Social Enterprise Strategy for Australia. We’re now on our way.” 

The Social Enterprise National Strategy (SENS) project has entered its next phase of development: activation, which includes changes to governance and the appointment of an executive director. 

SENS, which kicked off in 2020, aims to create a long-term national strategy for the Australian social enterprise sector that unlocks positive social, cultural and environmental impact and a purpose-led recovery to COVID-19.

Belinda Morrissey, CEO at the English Family Foundation and chair of the SENS Advisory Council, said that SENS was a significant and exciting initiative.

“Our shared ambition is to make social enterprise business as usual,” Morrissey said.

As part of the first phase, the Yunus Centre conducted research across the social enterprise sector, in Australia and overseas. It found that Australia’s social enterprise sector is fragmented, underserved and not realising its potential. 

This inhibits its ability to self-organise and gain the benefits of greater coordination, mainstream profile and understanding, and access to resources and support relative to the public value it creates.

The research also showed there was widespread support for a strategy that would set a shared direction for social enterprise in Australia; improve collaboration and coordination within and around the sector; increase the visibility and credibility of social enterprise; and unlock new resources for the sector and strengthen capability.

Read more: The time is now to step towards an Australian social enterprise strategy

Building on these learnings, the project has now entered the next phase, which will establish organisational infrastructure to bring the sector together nationally, develop a plan to engage government, and build a national strategy and investment case. 

Jess Moore has been appointed to lead SENS as the executive director, with support from the SENS Advisory Council, which includes: 

  • Belinda Morrissey (chair), CEO at the English Family Foundation;
  • Alex Hannant (deputy chair), professor of practice and co-director at the Yunus Centre, Griffith University;
  • Matt Pfahlert, CEO at the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Academy Australia;
  • Tara Anderson, head of marketing at Social Traders and director at The Dragonfly Collective;
  • Alexie Seller, co-CEO at Enterprise Learning Projects and convener at Impact North;
  • Adrian Appo, First Nations lead at Yajilarra Trust; and
  • David Brookes, founding member at the Social Enterprise Network of Victoria and former CEO at Social Traders. 

The project has also received support from the Snow Foundation and the English Family Foundation as the first members of the philanthropic collaboration to support the activation phase. 

Morrissey said social enterprise was an idea “whose time has come”. 

“Imagine what our sector can achieve if we come together to unlock its power,” she said.

“Imagine if we had a National Social Enterprise Strategy for Australia. We’re now on our way.” 

Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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