Social enterprises at the City of Whittlesea
The City of Whittlesea recognises the value and impact social enterprises can achieve in addressing social needs, strengthening communities and improving people’s life through empowerment, participation and developing individual capabilities.
Social enterprises employ innovative market solutions to achieve social impact. We appreciate the dual value creation (social and economic) which social enterprises generate and therefore recognise that this sector needs a supportive and dynamic ecosystem to support its unique mission, goals and business models.
City of Whittlesea has a diverse local economy, including 17 existing or developing social enterprises, whose primary purpose to deliver social and/or environmental outcomes. To achieve this, these businesses primary source of income is through commercial activity. In other words, social enterprises are businesses like any other, but they exist to create social or environmental impact.
A directory of known or developing social enterprises are listed here. These social enterprises employ over 210 employees and provide over 600 volunteer roles. These enterprises are tackling a range of social & environmental outcomes, including:
- Create meaningful jobs and employment pathways for people who face barriers
- Empower migrant communities with essential life skills, foster inclusivity, and enhance their overall wellbeing
- Wellbeing at home & equity of access to services, including transport equity
- Deliver a holistic approach to addressing the water safety and swimming needs of diverse communities
- Reuse and divert from landfill, tackle poverty for children and families, plus providing skilled training and employment opportunities
- Fostering First Nation People's Connection to Country, revegetation and conservation
- Improve participation in sport, reduce environmental waste and provide employment/training for people facing barriers
- Employment for people with disability, including people in wheelchairs.
Social enterprises defined
Generally, there are three main social enterprise types (see below) and depending on the type of social enterprise will require different business models.
Social enterprise sector (scope)
Social enterprises are commercially viable businesses existing to benefit the public and the community, rather than shareholders and owners.
Social enterprise is a descriptive term for a range of businesses prioritising social goals, rather than a legal form in itself. In the Australian context, social enterprises take on a range of organisational legal structures, making it difficult to distinguish them from other organisations. Social Traders has developed a definition based on Australia’s landmark research Finding Australia’s Social Enterprise Sector (FASES) conducted in 2010 and 2016 and benchmarked against international standards:
Social enterprise resources
Victorian Government support
For Social Enterprise | Social Traders
The Social Enterprise Network of Victoria
Social Enterprise Australia
Social Startup Studio
White Box Enterprises | Providing jobs-focused social enterprises with the tools to scale
Impact Investing | Social Ventures Australia
Legal advice and education from Justice Connect
Social Change Central's Social Enterprise Opportunities Portal
Find out more
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