Australia to get first social enterprise peak
13 July 2022 at 5:06 pm
Social Enterprise Australia will launch Thursday following consultations within the sector since 2020.
The nation’s first peak body for social enterprises will launch on Thursday and one of its first orders of business will be to establish how many social enterprises there are in Australia.
“I would say unofficially in the 1000s, but I can’t know,” said the CEO of Social Enterprise Australia (SEA), Jess Moore.
“This is one of the many reasons that Social Enterprise Australia is needed.”
Moore added that SEA will be a central point for social enterprises and facilitate “building social and environmental wellbeing”.
“The launch of Social Enterprise Australia is to meet the need for an organisation to do this work,” Moore said, adding: “The intent is to plan, act and learn together.”
A social enterprise business is a social business for good but exists specifically to make the world a better place.
“In other countries we have seen the national census’ specifically to see how many social enterprise businesses there are,” said Moore.
“Scotland, New Zealand and the EU in general have a much better understanding… but Scotland looks at the size of the social enterprise industry and how it contributes to the economy.”
Philanthropic organisations like The English Foundation, academic bodies like The Yunus Centre at Griffith University, and governmental organisations, all of which want to see social enterprise thrive, have participated in the creation of the body including an advisory board.
Moore said there is no one set of supports for the sector, so that will be something she intends to eventually advocate for together with her partners within Social Enterprise Australia.
“Often social enterprise falls through the cracks with regards to funding, and obviously social enterprise makes a big difference in employment for those traditionally shut out of the employment market,” Moore said.
“That money is largely not available to social enterprises.”
The Social Enterprise Australia website will go live on Thursday.