Building the pathway to a national social enterprise strategy
At QSEC our vision is to create a thriving social enterprise sector, but we know that’s not something we can achieve on our own.
That’s why we’ve been collaborating as part of an Advisory Group working 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 The English Family Foundation (Belinda Morrissey), ACRE (Matt Pfahlert), Social Traders (Tara Anderson), SASEC (Sharon Zivkovic), SENVIC (Nick Verginis), YLab (Michael Lim) and Good Cycles (Jaison Hoernel).
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.
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 to setup governance structures to take the project forward and wide consultation and co-creation to shape the project, which is what’s happening now.
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.
Footage courtesy Impact Boom, Social Enterprise Council of NSW and ACT, Queensland Social Enterprise Council, Social Enterprise World Forum. Production gifted by Digital Storytellers.