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Research & Policy
Practitioners, policy makers and funders have all identified significant gaps in research on social enterprise in Australia. There is much to investigate and learn: for example, about the size and nature of the social enterprise sector in this country; about how social enterprises are started and financed; what makes them successful; what impact they achieve; how they can contribute to regional economic and social development; what kinds of people work in them and what makes them successful; and what kinds of economic and social impact they achieve.
Social Traders is committed to supporting a research agenda that will have the practical outcome of helping social enterprises to develop and grow. We do this by:
- Supporting social enterprise research projects, usually in partnership with other organisations, by providing information, contacts to social enterprises, or sometimes funding;
- Disseminating and communicating social enterprise research;
- Participating in and sometimes initiating social enterprise sector development networks and working groups;
- Ensuring that the social enterprises assisted by Social Traders with finance and development support make adequate provision to monitor and measure their progress and evaluate their enterprise;
- Partnering with Melbourne Business School to enhance our understanding of what makes social enterprises successful;
- Monitoring social enterprise research in Australia and overseas;
- Designing and managing a collaborative public policy research project investigating ways to measure social enterprise employment and social outcomes.
There are many organisations undertaking valuable social enterprise research in Australia and overseas. Although it is not comprehensive, this site refers you to a range of local and international research activities. We encourage you to let us know about your social enterprise policy and research work and interests.