June 20, 2018
As an outcome of the recent launch of the Victorian Governments Social Procurement Framework, Gary Sinclair, Manager at ReBuild shares his insights on social enterprise and Social Traders certification.
ReBuild is a Social Traders certified social enterprise – that works with organisations to support disadvantaged young people by offering a suite of facilities maintenance services. ReBuild has a quantifiable social impact that includes reducing recidivism, connecting families and making communities safer. In the next twelve months ReBuild will provide up to 160 young men with the skills they need to gain employment on release from prison into the community and approximately 30 young men and women with direct employment.
- Does your business define itself as a social enterprise and is it important?
In terms of winning business identifying as a social enterprise does offer benefits but within defined parameters. Examples of this include current Victorian Government infrastructure requirements that compel consortiums to demonstrate a minimum spend on social procurement; and secondly a general increased awareness and commitment by selected large businesses/corporates to engage with NFPs in general.
- What does Social Traders certification mean to your business and is it important?
Any external certification provides additional credibility. Many organisations are attracted culturally to the idea of engaging with social enterprise but in real terms are commercially risk averse. Certification helps substantially to mitigate this.
- What benefits have you received from Social Traders certification?
To date we have been introduced to 5 potential Social Traders buyer members. The benefits to directly meet with senior managers from procurement and HR is of enormous benefit though in providing opportunities to pitch and commence the process.
The momentum for social enterprise procurement is now really starting to gather, and we feel that by being Social Traders certified we are a contributing part of this movement.
- What are the areas you’d like to see change over the next 2-3 years to assist the growth of social enterprise?
A continued commercial/contractual requirement will, in time, drive cultural change to the point where social enterprise become a standard part of business and government supply chains. A key component of bedding social enterprise into the procurement process however will require:
- Social enterprises offering commercially attractive services that form part standard operations
- Social enterprise increasing scale to offer the ability to meet larger pieces of work/service offerings and by extension organisations being committed to parcelling off smaller offerings that allow social enterprise to complete, to grow and demonstrate relevance as a result
- Increased marketing/PR demonstrating real time, measurable social impact and by extension return on investment
- What do you – as a social enterprise – need most to be able to capitalise on winning new work from business and government buyer members?
To consistently win new work we need to focus on three key areas as follows:
- Increased and ongoing exposure to networking opportunities with large organisations
- Innovative financial offerings that allow realistic and systemic scale up
- Training and support in governance and marketing
- What is the most rewarding aspect about your work?
The single most rewarding aspect of working in a social enterprise, and in particular ReBuild, is the knowledge that we are directly impacting for the good in the lives of the young people (their friends and family) that we work with.
Over the next twelve months ReBuild will provide up to 160 young men with the skills they need to gain employment on release from prison into the community and approximately 30 young men and women with direct employment. Each of these will make direct, measurable benefits on the lives of the young people themselves, their families and communities
To register for Social Traders certification please click on the button below.Supplier Registration