Building the pathway to a national social enterprise strategy
SENVIC exists to create a thriving social enterprise sector in Victoria, but we know that can’t be achieved on our own.
That’s why we joined with ACRE and the English Family Foundation to establish a collaboration of sector leaders from across Australia to develop a national social enterprise strategy for Australia. The Advisory Group has just released the first reports with a proposed pathway forward.
Social enterprise is an idea whose time has come.
Now more than ever we need blended models that build a fairer and more just Australia and are also commercially viable.
There are thousands of social enterprises already operating around Australia. But the sector is fragmented and underserved. That’s why in 2020, we got together with a group of other social enterprise sector leaders to explore how to supercharge the sector’s growth through a national social enterprise strategy.
We formed an advisory committee including SENVIC (Nick Verginis), YLab (Michael Lim) and Good Cycles (Jaison Hoernel), ACRE (Matt Pfahlert), The English Family Foundation (Belinda Morrissey), Social Traders (Tara Anderson) and SASEC (Sharon Zivkovic).
Together we imagined a strategy that would set a shared direction for the sector and improve coordination. A strategy that would increase the visibility and credibility of social enterprise. A strategy that would unlock new resources for the sector and strengthen capability.
Yunus Centre Reports 2021
As a starting point, the Yunus Centre at Griffith University conducted research across the social enterprise sector, in Australia and overseas. The research is now available in two parts, with a third to be released during the next phase:
- Part one: a summary of themes, tensions & provocations, capturing the history and learning in the social enterprise sector in Australia and internationally.
- Part two: a possible pathway for building the connective tissue across the Australian social enterprise sector so that collectively we can amplify our impact. It asks us to consider – what would it look like if we were to better organise at a national level?
The conversations we’ve had across the social enterprise sector so far suggest there is widespread support for a national strategy, shared goals and better coordination in the social enterprise sector. But that’s just the beginning. The next step is wide consultation and co-creation to shape the path forward.
Levelling up the sector’s impact and developing a national strategy will take all of us – everyone who wants to see the social enterprise sector grow and thrive.
There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved. Stay tuned for forums to explore the path forward.
Victorian Government Social Enterprise Strategy
In 2017, the Victorian Government announced a Social Enterprise Strategy to advocate for greater coordination across government to support social enterprises.
The Victorian Government’s $10.8 million Social Enterprise Strategy includes eight initiatives to support the growth of the social enterprise sector and inclusive economic growth across Victoria. The strategy, the first of its kind in Australia, has been developed to improve and expand on existing support for the sector and to position Victoria to lead the country in driving employment participation and inclusive economic growth through social enterprise.
The initiative is part-funded through Jobs Victoria, to support jobs growth across the state and to assist Victorians to take up these new job opportunities, and advocates for greater co-ordination across government to support social enterprises. A healthy sector will support inclusive economic growth, new job creation and more opportunities for people facing barriers to employment to get and sustain meaningful work.
Victorian Government Media Release, 20 August: Supporting Victoria’s Growing Social Enterprise Sector