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Social Enterprises

Social Enterprises play a valuable role in the economic, environmental and social well-being of the community, and often have a strong focus on vulnerable members of our community.

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.

Here at the City of Whittlesea, our aim is to build a community of locals who are keen to be in business, to incorporate practices that have social impact.

We appreciate that this sector is still relatively new to local government and therefore we embrace the opportunity to work with the sector to identify the most pertinent and relevant ways to grow the sector.

Social enterprises defined

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:

  • The enterprise has a defined primary social purpose, environmental or other public benefit
  • The enterprise derives a substantial portion of its income from trade
  • The enterprise reinvests 50% or more of annual profits towards achieving the social purpose

You can find out more from Social Traders, The Victorian Government and SENVIC.


Social enterprise resources

Victorian Government support

The Social Enterprise Network of Victoria

Social Ventures Australia

Social Startup Studio

Join Social Shifters' international network

Legal advice and education from Justice Connect 

B Corporations

Social Change Central's Social Enterprise Opportunities Portal

Find out more

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