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Adelaide creative agency blends profit and purpose

May 7, 2020

Last updated on October 26, 2020

Blend Creative is a social enterprise graphic design studio that has been providing real work opportunities to designers living with disability since 1990.

The business currently supports 27 team members who identify as living with disability, following a period of consistent growth driven primarily by contracts with several large public sector clients.

These include the South Australian State Government Department of Premier and Cabinet, The Department of Human Services, as well as local Councils in Sydney and Adelaide, and both Flinders and Melbourne Universities, just to name a few.

Blend has also completed work for a range of private sector clients including Bank SA.

Services include brand development and design, annual report preparation, corporate communication materials and research reports.

Account Director Monique Russell said contracts with Government and private sector clients were critical to business growth and to it’s social mission.

Monique said that Blend had set a growth target of around 30% over the next 12-15 months, and so attracting further business from clients with significant buying power was important.

“The personal and professional development of our people is no doubt the most rewarding thing about the work we do,” Monique said.

“We create opportunities that aren’t broadly available in the mainstream employment space, and we see our staff really blossom and contribute in really meaningful ways.

“Another critical factor for us is delivering high quality work to ensure we generate repeat business with our clients. That goes without saying for any business but a social enterprise can easily be viewed as a goodwill or charity case – that is absolutely not the case.

“We are as competitive as any in the industry and delivering quality products at market rates is the intent.

“We see ourselves making a difference for our clients in multiple ways – we’re a legitimate business that delivers not only a strong product but life changing social impact.”

Blend has been Social Traders Certified for around a year, and Monique said the program has helped the business grow its network substantially which in the long run would have a positive impact on business growth.

“A strong and diverse network is important for a business like ours that generates positive word of mouth and organic promotion,” Monique said.

‘Networking with other social enterprises and Social Traders buyer members opens a lot of doors for us.”

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