After seeing Social Enterprise didn’t rank in this week’s BRW ‘Top 10 Sectors Set To Take Off’ In Australia, the School For Social Enterprise (SSE) CEO, Benny Callaghan, asked ‘if something was missed’. He oberves:
The BRW Methodology
The Top 10 selection was based on market research by IBISWorld, and included: mining, organic farming, online education, motorcycle sales, domestic airlines, debt collection, insurance, mobile technology and alternative health.
Revenue growth and total revenue were very important.
Clearly Social Enterprise differs greatly in terms of total revenue, but not in terms of growth, eg organic farming is forecast to experience a growth of 15.1%.
Social enterprise is not new in Australia, and, Benny writes, in the past two years things have started to ‘shift’.
The FASES Report: Finding Australia’s Social Enterprise Sector shows more entrepreneurs are taking on Social Enterprise.
About The Sector That ‘Flies Under The Radar Of Broader Markets’
Social Enterprises include cooperatives, associations, mutuals, fair trade organisations, community development finance institutions, social firms, charitable business ventures and hybrids and they operate in every industry of the Australian economy.
SOME POINTS TO NOTE:
- The Victorian Government has recently backed the development of Social Traders, an organisation dedicated to facilitating, supporting and advocating for the development of social enterprise in Australia
- The Federal Government has backed social enterprise by establishing a funding program to facilitate their growth and support
- In the past 18 months a number of development organisations have been established across the country to support social innovation and social enterprise:
Australian Social Innovation Exchange
The Australian Centre for Social Innovation
Social Business Australia
Australian Employee Buyout Centre
Social Enterprise Sydney
School for Social Entrepreneurs Australia
- At SSE alone, 67 social entrepreneurs have entered the program in the past 18 months, with some extraordinary case studies of new and innovative social enterprises
- Social Ventures Australia has realigned its strategy to focus on education and employment related social enterprise
- These organisations are collaborating in unprecedented ways to enable the fast and effective growth of the sector
- Universities have been establishing schools and centers to deliver research and programs that will support the development of the social economy. One example is the Centre for Social Impact, a collaboration across four universities
- Australia hosted the 2nd Annual Social Enterprise World Forum in late 2009, with over 500 delegates from across the world
- Philanthropic institutions like the Westpac Foundation are focusing a great deal of their work on supporting social enterprise
- Corporations are supporting social enterprise through partnerships and mentoring
Why This Is Important
- social enterprise is delivering significant social and environment impacts to communities
- social enterprises create jobs for people who experience barriers to employment in the open labour market
- social enterprises create new solutions to existing and unmet social challenges
- social enterprises generate revenue that is reinvested in charitable or community-led activity
- social enterprises measure growth and success by more than simply revenue growth and total revenue. Social enterprises place social impact at the heart of their mission
Things do seem to be changing.