Social Enterprises are an innovative breed of businesses that exist to create a fairer and more sustainable world.

They could be a graphic design company creating jobs for ex-offenders, or a gym providing affordable wellbeing services to the community, or a retailer selling toilet paper and donating 50% of their revenue to charity.

Social Enterprises must do three things:

  1. Have a defined primary social, cultural or environmental purpose consistent with a public or community benefit, and
  2. Derive a substantial portion of their income from trade, and
  3. Invest efforts and resources into their purpose such that public/community benefit outweighs private benefit.

They operate in all industry sectors of the economy, from facilities management, to catering and hospitality, to business administration to design.

There are three Social Enterprise impact models:

  • Employment-generating – creates employment and training opportunities for marginalised people.
  • Community need – delivers accessible products and services to meet community needs that are not met by the market.
  • Profit redistribution – donates at least 50% of profits or revenue to charity.

Whilst purpose is at the heart of why a Social Enterprise operates, it can be hard to quantify or explain and there are many different legal structures. Social Traders provides the only Social Enterprise certification in Australia. Our certification framework is world-leading in its depth and adaptability and we have certified more than 450 Social Enterprises across the country to date.

Nundah Community Enterprise Cooperative's Social Enterprise success story.

Nundah Community Enterprise Cooperative's Social Enterprise success story.

Forbes profile Australian Social Enterprise in SAP feature
Forbes profile Australian Social Enterprise in SAP feature
28 June 2021
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Deep Dive | Social Enterprise Procurement
Deep Dive | Social Enterprise Procurement
04 August 2021
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Deep Dive | The what and why of certification
Deep Dive | The what and why of certification
28 June 2021
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The state of Social Procurement
The state of Social Procurement
07 August 2021
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