November 30, 2015
Together with its corporate partners, Social Traders is launching Connect – Australia’s first service dedicated to linking social enterprise to corporate and government contracts.
Foundation members include seven of Australia’s leading corporations – Australia Post, Westpac, Lendlease, Mirvac, GPT, PwC and NAB, as well as the Victorian State Government and the Municipal Association of Victoria.
By 2020, Social Traders’ Connect expects to have more than 50 corporate and government members procuring over $100 million in social enterprise contracts.
“Strengthening Australian communities by buying from social enterprise is a tremendous opportunity for all organisations to make a difference. Australia Post is passionate about playing a leadership role in Connect”, said Australia Post Group Executive Business Services Laz Cotsios.
Social Traders’ Connect was developed following research conducted in 2013 that surveyed 31 Australian business with a collective market capitalisation of $221 billion. This research found that over $905 million was being directed to social procurement via 11 businesses with another 18 businesses confirming they were soon to commence. The research also identified that scaling the growth of social procurement was dependent on an intermediary broker linking social enterprise with buyers.
David Brookes, Managing Director at Social Traders says although often viewed as a niche area, social enterprise currently contributes almost 3% to Australia’s GDP.
“By opening up new contract opportunities for social enterprise, this new service will enable more jobs for disadvantaged Australians. By encouraging the market to purchase from social enterprise we are unlocking the greatest untapped opportunity for positive social impact in Australia.”
Social Traders’ Connect launches today at an event hosted by Australia Post which will bring current and future corporate buyers together with a range of social enterprises.