Social enterprise sector unites around shared values and principles
4 July 2022 at 5:41 pm
The latest addition to the Social Enterprise National Strategy (SENS) is generating new momentum towards a roadmap for sector guidance and support.
What has traditionally been a fragmented sector has achieved a significant milestone, with the Australian social enterprise sector coming together to agree on five shared values and principles.
The values and principles, which are the result of a sector-wide co-design process and sit alongside the previously published shared vision and mission, include authenticity, creativity, justice, collaboration and diversity.
Social Enterprise National Strategy (SENS) executive director Jess Moore said they represent an important foundation for the social enterprise sector in Australia.
“The research we did showed the need to bring the sector together to create the strategy,” Moore told Pro Bono News.
“To do that right, we needed to be clear first on why we were coming together which resulted in the vision and mission, and then agree how we would work together which resulted in the shared values and principles.”
Moore said Australia’s social enterprise sector was fragmented, underserved and not realising its potential.
“This inhibits its ability to gain the benefits of greater coordination, mainstream profile, and to access resources relative to the public value it creates. Now is the time to change this and we are working to make this happen,” she added.
“We are focused on creating a network that those in the social enterprise sector can depend on, and together with the national strategy, we are hoping to get the Albanese government to officially adopt it like has been done successfully in Scotland.”
As part of the co-design process, 41 people from across the sector joined a focus group to explore how they wanted to feel, how they wanted others to feel, and what would get in the way when working in collaboration.
Moore then worked with Kate Barelle, Belinda Morrissey, Elise Parups and Cam Willis to take what was said and draft the values and principles.
These words were then shared with the wider SENS network with 172 respondents providing feedback.
In total, 92.07 per cent of respondents said they were able to practise authenticity without modification, 74.23 per cent said the same of creativity, 84.91 per cent said this of justice, 86.16 per cent said this of collaboration and 93.08 per cent said this for diversity.
Work is now underway to co-design infrastructure for organising as a sector nationally.
“We’re building towards creating this foundation for the social enterprise sector so we can all work together to create the change we are looking for in Australia,” Moore said.