Friends of the Earth

Business and Social Enterprise Support Agencies


Business & Social Enterprise Support Agencies may assist with business development, incubating ideas into action, mentoring, training, and a range of other activities for social enterprise practitioners with or without prior business experience.  A range of agencies are segmented here, starting nationally, and then broken down into states and territories.

Social Traders has developed an online resource to aid social enterprises and the broader not-for-proft sector with engaging the right people for the right job.  We have developed a four stage process of engagement, including sample documents such as position descriptions and confidentially agreements.  This resource will assist practitioners form better engagement with experts resulting in enhanced business outcomes, success and experience. To access this resource, click here.

We are also seeking feedback from social enterprise practitioners about their experiences in engaging specialist individuals and organisations.  Without naming names, feel free to provide comment about what went right, what didn't and your reflections about why. Click here to leave a comment.

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Table of Contents 



Social Traders Ltd  Social Traders is a specialist organisation that supports the development of commercially viable social enterprises throughout Australia.

Social Ventures Australia works with social enterprises that create employment for people excluded from the labour market. 

Social Firms Australia Provides support, information, to promote the development of social firms in Australia. 

Social Business Australia provides advice, mentoring, training and support for member owned businesses that trade for social purpose.  

Business Enterprise Centres (BECs) are a great first point of contact for small business operators seeking information, advice and guidance. BECs are located in every state and territory in Australia, and local contacts may be found on their website.

Government & Business Associations Directory Contains details for federal, state, territory and local governments and for business associations as well. Users may search either by the name of an organisation or by key words.

School for Social Entrepreneurs Learning and skills development for social entrepreneurs.

StartSomeGood  A peerfunding website that serves as a platform for social entrepreneurs to gather a community and raise the funds needed to create change.

Pozible  A crowdfunding platform and community for creative projects and ideas. Developed for creative minded people, including social change makers and entrepreneurs, to raise funds and make great things possible.

Start Good Stuff  Support for Australian social innovation.

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Australian Capital Territory 

ACT Social Enterprise Hub Networking, training, mentoring, and support. An initiative of Social Ventures Australia.

Capital Region Business Enterprise Centre (ACT/NSW) Assists the start-up and growth of small businesses. Provides business advice, information and other services.

Indigenous Business Chamber of Australia A peak body providing a business chamber for indigenous business people whilst supporting opportunities to create business relationships. Ensures legislation or proposed policy approaches address the needs of indigenous businesses.

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New South Wales

Australian Employee Buyout Centre (AEBC) Provides consultation and education to assist in the transfer of ownership and equity to employees.

Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce Promotes and serves the interest of Indigenous business, supporting and facilitating Indigenous self reliance and economic prosperity.

Mercury Centre Consultancy, research, support, information and training. 

NSW Small Business Provides training, tools and information about starting and expanding a business. Their Western Sydney Business Centre offers a range of workshops to assist business owners.

Parramatta Social Enterprise Hub Networking, training, mentoring and support. A partnership between Social Ventures Australia and the Parramatta City Council.

Refugee Enterprise Facilitation Project Promotes local economic growth in Western and South Western Sydney by providing free and confidential support to local entrepreneurs with refugee and refugee-like backgrounds wishing to start or expand existing small business.


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Northern Territory

Deset Hub (Central Australia/Northern Territory) An initiative of the Desert Peoples Centre, the hub provides support for social enterprise in desert Australia.

Business Enterprise Centre, Darwin Region Inc Offers free support and advice to those who want to start, expand or buy a business.

Northern Territory Government Business Department Offers a free and confidential business information service to new and existing businesses.

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Brisbane, Logan, and Ipswich Social Enterprise Hubs Networking, training, mentoring and support. A partnership between local councils and Social Ventures Australia. 

Business Development Queensland  Provides information, resources and tools to help launch or grow a business. Information on business seminars, read more. 

Foresters Community Finance  Offers finance and lending to community organisations as well as socially-screened investment products for the ethical investor.

South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce  Connects Indigenous and Non-Indigenous businesses to promote, support, and guide Indigenous business success in the Australian community.

Queensland Social Enterprise Partnerships An initiative of Social Ventures Australia to support social enterprises in Queensland that are creating employment opportunities for people who are excluded from the labour market.

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South Australia

Southern Success Business Enterprise Centre Provides free or low cost confidential business advice and referrals; mentoring, networking and business development; assistance with the preparation of business plans; workshops; and access to business literature, resources and other  information.

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Business Development Tasmania The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts is dedicated to assisting small business growth in Tasmania by providing valuable resources from the Department and other organisations to facilitate business expansion. 

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Brotherhood of St Laurence Operates several enterprises, and houses the Community Enterprise Development Initiative working with disadvantaged communities to develop community enterprises.

Business Victoria Offers small to medium size Victorian businesses with training, information and funding opportunities to launch, grow, or operate effectively.

Cooperatives Victoria Advocacy, education and information specifically for cooperatives. 

Indigenous Business Network Provides support, advice, training, and funding to help Indigenous business owners and entrepreneurs plan and manage growth in their business.   

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Western Australia

Small Business Development Corporation's Small Business Centres Offers free assistance and support to businesses through free practical business assistance; referral to specialist advisers; help navigating government departments and regulations; workshops; and other information. 

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Social Traders Ltd | ABN 42 132 665 804 | PO Box 24074, Melbourne VIC 3001 | Level 2, 136 Exhibition St, Melbourne | Tel. +61 3 8319 8444 


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