SENVIC 2022 Reflections

2022 has been a year of growth, authenticity, diversity and inclusion.

This text is not finished yet, the finished product will be a combination of our highlights. Or maybe it will be your reflections nick?

We extend our gratitude to all who have contributed to the strengthening of our network this year and wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

Take a second to read about our highlights and get some hints of what is around the corner for 2023.

Directory Launch

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In March 2022 SENVIC launched a directory of Victorian social enterprises. As our directory continues to grow in 2023 we hope that it will tell the story of the true diversity of the Victorian social enterprise movement. If you haven’t already, get on the map! Help us understand the reach of social enterprises, build your brand and stand together with other social enterprises to strengthen to social enterprise sector in Victoria.

Sakshi's reflections

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This year has been an adventure with many firsts. We had our first in-person events since lockdowns, first Metropolitan Local Leads, first Emerging Leaders Program, first successful Pitch Night, first SEWF in Brisbane, first social enterprise precinct at the Queen Victoria Market and first SENVIC team Christmas dinner to celebrate the year. 

I am hoping the new year is about facilitating connections, influencing and developing the social enterprise sector with an equitable lens and extending our support into the impact driver startup ecosystem. 

While 2022 was jam-packed with many moments of excitement, connection and elatedness, there were also many moments of overwhelm and doubt. Are we listening enough? Are we actioning enough? Are we doing enough? 

Six months into my role as Metropolitan Manager, I am still reflecting on these questions and how we can better support the diversity of the social enterprise sector to thrive in Victoria. What I know for sure is that we as a team at SENVIC, are all on the same page in wanting to intentionally listen more and have integrity in our actions to align with our values in everything we do. Our journey so far is just the beginning of many more firsts.

Emerging Leaders

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Launching our Emerging Leaders Program has been a huge highlight of 2022. Following a rigorous application process, ten social entrepreneurs were chosen to develop their leadership skills and learn to maximise their impact.

The Emerging Leaders Program finished with a bang in November when our Emerging Leaders cohort gathered at STREAT in Collingwood for a pitch night and networking party – a highlight of the SENVIC calendar. The energy and passion in the room was palpable. SENVIC are immensely proud of our Emerging Leaders, and of the safe and welcoming space that was the pitch night.

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Purpose Precinct

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Launching the Purpose Precinct was one of the most exciting highlights of the year! 2.7 million people visit the Queen Victoria Market each year and now they can find a shop front showcasing social enterprise products and services from across Victoria. In early 2023 we will move to a larger premises at Queen Victoria Market where we will have capacity to showcase even more social enterprises. Let us know what you have!

Regional Manifesto

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In March, SENVIC held a Regional Mini-Conference. It gave delegates an insight into community-led rejuvenation and culminated in a SENVIC Regional Leads Manifesto for accelerating social enterprise in rural and regional Victoria. 

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Carmel's reflections

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My most inspiring moments for 2022 were the lived experience leadership lessons from: Dylan Alcott AO regarding policy flaws and Centrelink’s systemic contribution to workforce shortages; and from Kayt McGeary CEP, regarding gaps in neuro-affirming social innovation incubators and mentorship. Lived experience and participatory voice matters in everything we do. A stark reminder of ‘nothing for us without us’ in the application of SENVIC’s diversity, equity, and inclusion policy.

My best resource for 2022 is Jade Kennedy’s Deconstructing Welcome to Country. I am ever humbled by the power of storytelling to communicate the most complex messages simply. Thank you for your First Nations leadership, Tiffany Winters (SEWF – Rural Gathering).

The lowlight of 2022 has been the mental exhaustion of managing the multiple hats I wear in the social enterprise ecosystem. Constantly navigating interests in a distributed leadership environment weighed heavily on my sense of personal integrity and professional identity.

My highlight of 2022 was working together with the passionate and talented SENVIC operational team as well as Regional Local Leads – to deepen our understanding of strategy, culture, and member value. Together we worked on 

  • Our Local Lead Strategy: What success looks like for a diverse, developing network of networks. How might we keep pace whilst gently reinforcing ‘go slow to go far’.
  • Culture: Love languages in the workplace – Exploring how we are human centred within a remote team environment. In person team connection, words of affirmation, 1:1 time with leadership, acts of service and checking in/closing loops.
  • Member Value: Exploring the ‘advocacy development’ – ‘practitioner voice’ value exchange via the Federal employment white paper submission assistant process

Amplifying your voice

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We’ve wrapped up the year by holding two online workshops to share knowledge and insight to strengthen your voice to the Federal government’s Job’s Inquiry. We also launched an online Submission Assistant based on the first workshop to help members respond in the final days of the consultation. SENVIC made seven recommendations as a result of consultation, coordination with national bodies and through our Submission Assistant. Find out more>

World Forum

SENVIC Emerging Leaders at SEWF

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In September the Victorian social enterprise community travelled to Brisbane for the most important event on the International social enterprise calendar. Its hard to underestimate how exciting it was to be in the room with nearly 3,000 passionate change-makers! It was a joy to see so many Victorians on stage and in the audience. 

Nick's reflections

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‘Running Up that Hill’ was a fitting anthem for 2022. This year has been heart-pumping, gravity-defying, old-and-new thrills at once. It was another year of challenges and opportunities that were not expected, and not always welcome. The gathering of our community in Brisbane at the SEWF was undoubtably the highlight, it reinforced and strengthened existing bonds and inspired us to keep running up that hill.

Those few occasions where we got to embrace, shake-hands, or just eyeball in conversation were the real moments of connection and joy in 2022. From the Think Social event in Melbourne to the SENVIC Regional Mini-Conference in Beechworth, from the Frankston Social Enterprise Hub to the Emerging Leaders Pitch night, from SEWF in Brisbane to the launch of the Purpose Precinct at Queen Victoria Market in December – these moments of personal connection make SENVIC stronger. Our value is not the benefits or resources we mobilise and share, but the connections and relationships we foster. 

I don’t know how far it is to reach the summit, but there are so many exciting things planned for 2023, and each horizon is propelling me forward. 

Special thanks goes to our supporters in the Victorian Government who continue to support the growth of an independent and innovative social enteprise network.

I can’t wait to re-join with all our generous and inspiring running-partners in 2023.

Strategic Plan

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We’re proud to announce our SENVIC Strategic Plan for 2022-2025, which outlines our priority activities for the coming years. 

This document is for our community, members, staff, directors and newcomers to social enterprise. Use this strategy to:

  • understand where you fit
  • share ideas to accelerate our vision
  • align decision-making to values and vision
  • understand how to partner with SENVIC.

If you have thoughts on the Strategic Plan that you’d like to share, please email us on

Statewide Network

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In September SENVIC were thrilled to complete our statewide network of Local Leads with the appointment of Local Leads across Greater Melbourne.

SENVIC Local Leads have each lead the way in their own region throughout the year, connecting, enabling and providing leadership for the social enterprise sector.

“The voice of social enterprise in Victoria just got stronger” said SENVIC CEO, Nick Verginis. “SENVIC Local Leads play a vital role engaging social entrepreneurs in every corner of Victoria, ensuring that the network effectively represents the interests of our diverse sector.”

“We are thrilled to announce the Local Leads for Greater Melbourne, thereby completing our state-wide network of leaders. We look forward to collaborating with the SENVIC Local Leads to develop a strong and vibrant network, deliver learning and development opportunities and provide a strong voice for social enterprise in every neighbourhood.” added Nick Verginis.

“The many, diverse and high quality applications we received this year, is indicative of Melbourne’s readiness and enthusiasm to develop the social enterprise sector. I am excited to be working with the SENVIC Local Leads to grow our social enterprise network, create an inclusive space for sharing of knowledge and celebrate the great work of Victoria’s social intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs.” said Sakshi Thakur.

To help you find your local representative, SENVIC now has an interactive map (click here).

Team growth

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In 2022 we saw the team grow with Danielle, our Communications and Engagement Lead bringing a unique and perfect blend of community empowerment, technical wizardry, engagement expertise, and strategy smarts to the role.

We were excited to complete our Statewide Network when Sakshi Thakur joined the team as our Metropolitan Manager. Sakshi brings an impressive swag of leadership and network weaving magic to SENVIC. She is the founder of Humanism Global, a social enterprise improving the lives of women in Pondicherry, South India and has a raft of entrepreneurial experience and qualifications.

Our Regional network transitioned with Joh Lyons stepped down as the Regional Manager and Carmel Riley stepped up in late 2022.

We are excited to be expanding with the new Network Coordinator role in early 2023 – check out current employment opportunities here!

Danielle's reflections

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2022 has been a year of radical listening for me. A deep-dive into the Victorian Social Enterprise movement and a whirlwind tour of the clever, passionate and diverse trailblazers that drive it. It’s hard to decide which will stay with me longer: the spine tingling, electric energy of nearly 3,000 changemakers in the room at SEWF2022 or the joyful love, care and inclusive space that was our Emerging Leader’s Pitch night.

The powerful Indigenous Leadership dominating SEWF and subsequent forums has been inspirational and I look forward to sharing more stories from Australia’s original systems thinkers and story tellers.

The diversity in the room at recent SENVIC events gives me hope that our work to represent the true diversity of the social enterprise sector in Victoria is moving in the right direction.

In November I was immensely proud to obtain a Master of Communication with Distinction form RMIT. My final piece of work was a comprehensive industry report into the capacity for digital storytelling to strengthen the Victorian social enterprise sector. Essentially, my research found that authenticity lies at the heart of the most powerful digital stories we can tell. So look out for social enterprise stories that put the social before the enterprise, and people in the centre.

In an ecosystem that exists in part to redress power imbalances, I look forward to spreading the word of your social enterprises carefully, ethically, and joyfully.

Annual Report

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Our Annual review highlights another financial year of achievement and growth for SENVIC and the wider social enterprise ecosystem.

Check it out here.