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Social enterprises are a unique form of business that blend both charity with business approaches and can be a valuable government partner to deliver social outcomes in a sustainable way.
Swinburne University estimates that there are over 20,000 social enterprises nationally. Based on its Victorian analysis, social enterprises contribute $29.7 billion to the national economy and employ 340,000 people nationally.
The state peak bodies have collaborated to form the Alliance of Social Enterprise Networks Australia (ASENA). Together, we are advocating for the Australian Government to follow the State and local governments that are already supporting and investing in the social enterprise sector: Victorian Government’s Social Enterprise Strategy 2021-2025 ($25m investment in 2021) and Queensland Government’s Social Enterprise Strategy ($8m investment in 2020).
Following our advocacy campaign last year, the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs has committed $24.6m over the next four years to enable social enterprises supporting refugee employment to increase their impact. It’s time to invest in all parts of the social enterprise community.
The Australian Government has a significant opportunity to scale and leverage the support for social enterprises from state and local governments through a strategic framework for social enterprise sector development nationally.
ASENA is working with Social Enterprise Australia to develop a community-led national strategy and we seek your support to accelerate our work. Our local networks across Australia are activating members to reach out to candidates in the 2022 federal election.
We share a vision for a thriving social enterprise community. Our collective mission is to foster a vibrant and connected Australian social enterprise sector that provides:
- Environmental care
- People-centred services
- Access to decent work
- Community-led innovation.
We are asking federal candidates to take three actions:
- Learn more about social enterprise in your electorate. We would like to meet with you to discuss how your voice in Canberra can support your local social enterprises to deliver more social and environmental impact for our community.
- Make a public pledge of support for social enterprise. It’s not about buying more, it’s about buying from social enterprise: #switch2good. (Your State/Territory Social Enterprise Network will go here) will create a social media opportunity with you and extend your profile.
- Match the recent $24.6m investment into social enterprises supporting refugee employment with funding from each portfolio where social enterprise is supporting public outcomes – from employment to environment, from disability to housing, from Indigenous affairs to women, from justice to economic development.
A thriving social enterprise sector is needed now more than ever. We need the leadership of the Commonwealth.
Reach out to your local social enterprise network and visit your electorate’s local leaders using business for good.
Find our more here:
-ASENA (Alliance of Social Enterprise Networks Australia)
11 April 2022