Social Enterprise Strategy

Team from the Mildura Chocolate Company
Photo courtesy of Mildura Chocolate Company

The Victorian social enterprise sector is recognised as the largest and most dynamic in Australia. There are currently more than 3,500 social enterprises trading across metropolitan and regional Victoria employing an estimated 60,000 people and contributing $5.2 billion to the Victorian economy.

What is a Social enterprise?

Social enterprises are:

  • led by an economic, social, cultural, or environmental mission consistent with a public or community benefit
  • derive a substantial portion of their income from trade
  • reinvest the majority of their profit/surplus in the fulfilment of their mission.
    Source: Social Traders

Victorian Social Enterprise Strategy

Working at Ceres
Photo courtesy of CERES

The Victorian Government's Social Enterprise 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.

Social enterprises already play a valuable role in the economic, environmental and social well-being of Victorian communities and they often have a particularly strong focus on young people, women and those with disabilities.

The strategy 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 disadvantaged people to get, and sustain, work.

The strategy identifies three action areas:

  1. Increasing impact and innovation
  2. Building business capacity and skills
  3. Improving market access.

Implementing these action areas through eight initiatives (outlined in the strategy document) will lead to growth and improved sustainability for the social enterprise sector and further social and economic benefit for Victoria.

Download the strategy:

Download the fact sheet:

Map for Impact

The Map for Impact is a government-commissioned research report and database detailing the social enterprise sector in Victoria. The report, completed by the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University, was released in November 2017 and includes:

  1. A searchable map of social enterprises across metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria;
  2. A database of Victorian social enterprises and intermediaries including the names, ABN and contact details of organisations, provided to the department to support its engagement of the sector; and
  3. A report that describes the organisational characteristics, activities and impacts of Victoria's social enterprises—including age, size, diversity of management, social purpose, performance measurement practices, and economic and social impacts.

View The Map for Impact here:

Victorian Social Enterprise Network

Work is underway on establishing the Victorian Social Enterprise Network (VSEN, a key initiative of the Social Enterprise Strategy. The VSEN is a state-wide network both physical and virtual that will build a stronger social enterprise sector and support engagement of social enterprises with government, intermediaries, buyers and each other.

Social procurement - video example

A key initiative from the strategy is to develop a social procurement framework to help increase opportunities for social enterprises to supply goods and services to government. The video below outlines an example of social procurement by the Level Crossing Removal Authority, which purchased printing services from Nadrasca - a social enterprise based in Nunawading.

Nadrasca video - Victoria's Social Enterprise - You Tube

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Page last updated: 16 August 2019