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Social Enterprise Innovations

Despite the tremendous pressure social enterprises are currently experiencing, some are finding ways to shift their businesses and adapt to the current environment. There is space for innovation as we all move from business as usual to the new normal. Notwithstanding the challenges inherent to innovating in a rapidly changing environment, where they can, some are able to take a pragmatic approach to offer new iterations of their products and services. Buying from social enterprises is important now more than ever.

National

Digital Storytellers are a film-making agency, now offering online stories for impact workshops and virtual conference services, including virtual gathering facilitation, hosting and technical support.

The agency is focused on meeting the needs of impact driven organisations and initiatives.

Gippstech is a web design and development company focused on creating regional jobs by growing startup and tech communities. It’s now offering eCommerce solutions for businesses needing to move online, providing remote work support with GSuite Collaboration tools and providing business innovation consulting to companies needing to pivot their business models quickly.

Given the move to work from home across the country, Forward Thinking Design, an interior design social enterprise, is now providing virtual office design consultations for WHS compliant home offices.

Forward Thinking Design runs a number of charitable projects for community organsiations and other social enterprises.

Wired for human connection, the Human Connection Project is leveraging its facilitation capability and is now offering strategies, training and advice on staying connected while physically distanced and working from home. They are also running a number of virtual events including a happy hour. 

Leadership Victoria is pivoting to virtual delivery for a number of their programs and will continue to offer a range of excellent programs, coaching and mentoring for leaders at every stage of their development, across industries and communities. 

Momentary is a video production company that uses storytelling to communicate impact, and ensures it’s service is accessible to communities. Traditionally producing films starring people, they have started offering animation and motion graphic design in order to tell stories and convey messages in a safe, contact less way. 

Hotel Housekeeping has pivoted from hotel cleaning to commercial cleaning, partnering with other social enterprises including Good Cycles & GOGO Events to deliver commercial cleaning to offices and aged care providers nationally.

Hotel Housekeeping is an employment generating social enterprise.

She Maps is experienced at providing high-value STEM content for educators, and in online learning. With COVID-19 hit, they developed Live in Orbit, a kids’ STEM show, delivered live, onlinefor home-based education.  

She Maps is focused on diversity in STEM. 

 

Beam are experts in flexible work. They help organisations to provide more work options, which drives job creation and greater diversity. Beam normally provides both: job-design toolkits and upskilling on flexible workforce models for HR professionals and business leaders, as well as a platform for part-time jobs/talent.  

To support organisations with the enormous flexible work transitions they need to make due to COVID-19, Beam have applied its Organisation Design methodology to support temporary work adjustments for employees to sustain their work. For example, work prioritisation and temporary part-time role adjustments during school closures and reducing roles to 4 days or less to reduce labour costs. 

Victoria

Charcoal Lane is a fine dining restaurant & catering business, providing employment and training opportunities for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s. They are now offering a full take-away menu from their restaurant in Fitzroy, available for pick up or delivery.  

Co-Ground is a hospitality and events company with vehicles and storage space that are currently unused. They have pivoted their business to provide storage, delivery and transport services for companies during COVID-19.  

Their meals cooked by refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia are now available for online order & delivery. Free to Feed have previously run cooking classes, catering and corporate events. 

Ordinarily delivering fruit boxes and milk to workplaces, Fruit2Work have now opened their warehouse in Melbourne Monday to Friday, to allow the general public access to a fresh supply of fruit & milk. Fruit2Work is an employment generating social enterprise giving people impacted by the justice system a chance. 

In response to COVID-19, Kinfolk has launched an online shop with groceries & take-home meals, available to pick up at Sibling in the north of Melbourne or delivery to local suburbs. Usually they run a café, event management and catering services. 

Kinfolk runs a volunteer and hospitality training program and many of their people have transitioned into finding meaningful work. 

Focused on providing alternate transport options for vulnerable community members, while providing employment opportunities to people experiencing barriers to work, Local Transit is pivoting their business to provide delivery services for companies.

STREAT is offering home delivery of meals, produce, coffee and bakery products to central Melbourne suburbs. Through this and their regular work operating a café and catering business, they create pathways for young people into the hospitality industry.

Through its facilities maintenance work,
Rebuild provides employment opportunities to young people experiencing barriers to entering the workforce. They have recently added cleaning as one of their services due to the increased demand in response to COVID-19.

Vision Australia – Digital Access provide accessibility testing, consulting and training to help organisations make their digital assets accessible to people with a disability or impairment. They have shifted all courses from in person to online training, a great option for people wanting to upskill in accessibility from home.

NSW

WV Technologies decommission, recycle and remarket IT, and in the process they employ disadvantaged and indigenous Australians. In response to COVID 19, they have secured supplies of 1M face masks and hand sanitiser for re-sale. There is also a supply of computer monitors and other IT equipment needed to set up staff now working from home.

WorkVentures provide technology solutions to clients while creating employment opportunities and digital access to community. Typically operating in IT repairs and logistics, they are now able to supply computer monitors and other IT equipment to support staff working from home.