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Social Enterprise Awards 2016 – Finalists

After receiving 119 entries, 26 finalists across the eight categories of the Social Enterprise Awards 2016 have been selected by an independent shortlisting panel.

The winner of each category will be selected by a panel of industry and sector experts and announced at the Social Enterprise Awards ceremony on 30th November.

The 2016 Social Enterprise Award Finalists are:

Social Enterprise of the Year (Small)

ASRC Catering are a non-for-profit social enterprise operating under the umbrella of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. We cater to the Melbourne metropolitan and surrounding area and source all our food from local suppliers. Our menu reflects the rich and diverse cultures of our asylum seeker members, expressed in modern interpretations of classic flavours from Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Good Cycles is a charity and social enterprise founded on the realisation that bicycles change lives and can have a major impact in alleviating a wide range of prevalent social issues. We use bicycles to engage, educate, empower and find employment for those experiencing significant disadvantage. We work with asylum seekers, recent refugees, at-risk youth and long-term unemployed to provide new opportunities and broadened horizons.

Green Collect is a social enterprise dedicated to working for sustainable environmental and social change. Green Collect delivers services to over 100 businesses each year as one of Melbourne’s leading innovators in resource recovery and landfill reduction.

Social Enterprise of the Year (Large)

CERES Fair Food’s Mission: Do good at every part in the food chain. Buy Fair: We buy food from local farmers and grocery producers at fair prices and stick with them season after season. Employ Fair: We give asylum seekers and new arrivals (around one third of our 38 staff) that crucial first job in Australia. Build Community: We deliver our food orders to a network of 70 volunteer Food Host pick-up points in neighbourhoods across Melbourne. Offset Carbon: We offset our delivery vehicles carbon emissions with contributions to the Lao Cook-stove Project. All Profits Go to CERES Environmental Education: All our profits help CERES, Australia’s most visited environment park, where we teach children and adults to care for our planet.

In 1922 The Smith Family (TSF) was founded by 5 anonymous businessmen. In 1963 TSF Recycling operation was established as an innovative commercial solution to fund TSF operational costs and build sustainability within the organisation. Clothing donations were centrally sorted into finished goods to generate revenue. In 1973 the Export of used clothing commenced. In this award year around 12 million kgs of clothing and other donations were collected and sorted centrally at  Villawood site for processing into finished goods. These goods are sold across the globe and in our Retail Stores.

Soft Landing is a mattress recycling social enterprise currently operating in NSW (Sydney and the Illawarra), ACT (Hume and surrounds) and WA (Wangara and surrounds). We divert waste mattresses from landfill and recover the components for recycling and reuse. Through deconstructing and recycling mattresses we offer entry level training and employment to people who experience significant barriers to work including Indigenous Australians, the long term unemployed, people experiencing mental health issues and those leaving the prison system (or with a criminal record).

One to Watch Award

CQ Cultural Consulting is a social enterprise of Melbourne City Mission that brings a new lens to cultural consulting in Australia. We provide intercultural training, consulting, research and resource development services to unlock the benefits of diversity (primarily cultural diversity). We work with government, corporate and not-for-profit organisations to assist them to manage staff and client diversity, and develop their organisational cultural intelligence.

Fruit2Work creates second chance jobs by selling fruit boxes to offices in Melbourne. Our employees collect, pack and deliver the fruit. Launched in May 2016, Fruit2Work have partnered with two charities (TaskForce and First Step) to sell almost 100 boxes a week to customers such as Toll and Accenture and had our first program placement begin in July. We are looking to scale to 1,000 boxes and have 10 program participants per year.

Jigsaw provides digitisation and document management services to corporate and government clients throughout Australia,  to create employment opportunities and innovative pathways for people with disability. Jigsaw’s tripartite approach combines all pieces of the puzzle to create a supported end-to-end pathway from training and job readiness to transition to mainstream employment.

MYC Painting Services is a scalable social enterprise initiated by Marist Youth Care. Our mission is to create employment for unemployed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) youth by operating a high quality painting and decorating business. MYC Painting Services employs young people (on award wages) as apprentices and delivers an intensive 26 week training program that meets all first year apprentice training obligations.

The Staples Bag (TSB) is a community food social enterprise launched by Settlement Services International, a leading non-profit organisation providing humanitarian settlement services. Food insecurity is a growing issue in Australia, so TSB created an affordable supermarket that makes it easy for people in need to access affordable staple groceries. TSB also now run 20 weekly grocery pop-up stores at locations across Sydney, including at social housing estates and in partnership with local community organisations. Since launching one year ago, TSB now provide groceries to more than 750 families and individuals every week.

Capital for Impact Award

The Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre (MWRC) has a vision of harnessing the power of women in the community to create culturally strong and healthy life-ways. In 2013 MWRC seeded an ambitious enterprise program which has evolved into the Marnin Studio, based at MWRC and driven by the vision of local women artisans. Marnin Studio continues to grow through strategic partnerships and by connecting women through the creation of exquisite block and screen-printed textile products and hand painted boab nuts.

SVA’s WA Venture Philanthropy Fund acts as an aggregator of capital and expertise to maximise social impact in Western Australia.  Launched in 2015, the Fund has attracted a range ofders that are united by the common goal of collaborating to drive better outcomes. The Fund works in partnership with Funders and our expert WA Advisory Committee to identify a pipeline of outstanding organisations.  Marnin Studio was identified and emerged from the detailed due diligence as a strong social enterprise proposition that would benefit significantly from an injection of capital and resources.

Property Initiatives is a full service residential real estate agency that exists purely to fund the provision of safe affordable housing for marginalised and at-risk women and their children. All company profits generated from property management and sales go to its sole beneficiary Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI) that established the social enterprise to help address the considerable need that exists, which is not currently being met.

PIRE’s start-up capital is a highly tailored and innovative arrangement between five entities. Social Traders and WPI were anchor funders. Other co-investors were then sought, leveraging the anchor funding.  A  grant was subsequently secured from the Alfred Felton Bequest and the William Buckland Foundation and the RE Ross Trust offered to make an impact-led loan. The loan was the first ever impact investment for RE Ross Trust.

oowoomba Clubhouse and Social Ventures Australia (SVA). The social enterprise Laundry project will create permanent jobs for 30 people with mental illnesses and also operate an industry-linked pathways program, providing training and job opportunities for 30 people with mental illness, per year, through trusted suppliers and local businesses.

Social Ventures Australia played the role of arranger for the project, working closely with the team at Toowoomba Clubhouse to create a detailed financial model, verify the model with industry experts, determine the appropriate capital structure, and raise the capital from a combination of philanthropic and repayable sources. Westpac Foundation also worked alongside SVA to provide 75% of the required finance for the project.

Social Enterprise Innovation Award

40K PLUS addresses the lack of access to quality education for any child in any village anywhere in the world, where there is fluctuating electricity, little-to-no internet, and critically an unavailability of quality teachers. Our program has seen us design and build an innovative use of technology, which makes quality online content available offline through a learning platform on tablet, with a “flipped” classroom environment.

Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative (NCEC) creates long-term employment for people with intellectual disabilities and mental health issues, as well as opening up employment pathways for other marginalized groups. NCEC is a pioneering social enterprise recognized for creating sustainable employment opportunities with those for whom funded services, had not worked. NCEC has expertise in social enterprise and small business development and has mentored/trained a number of now successful businesses managed by marginalized groups.

Scarf transforms the lives of young refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants by getting them into work while adding flavour and heart to the hospitality industry. Founded in 2010, Scarf is a not-for-profit social enterprise that partners with restaurants and other hospitality businesses to provide meaningful training, mentoring and employment opportunities to our participants. Scarf provides a positive, real-world experience for our young trainees, who have faced significant barriers to work. They are paid, valued, become part of a learning community, and move on to meaningful jobs with confidence, supportive relationships, and excitement.

Buy Social Award

Historically, Brisbane City Council has made a strong commitment towards social procurement. Spend each year has continued to grow steadily. The goods and services purchased are drawn from both the white collar and blue collar sectors. They include things like mowing and landscaping services, cleaning services, graphic design services, catering, fabrication services, animal welfare services and training & development services, just to name a few.

The City of Gold Coast has a diversified portfolio of social procurement initiatives and contracts in place and purchases from numerous social enterprises. As well as purchasing from social enterprises, the City of Gold Coast has advanced social procurement to the extent where it has social procurement programs in place involving mainstream suppliers.  Through these programs social benefits are achieved.

The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) has established an Industry Capability and Inclusion Program with our program partners – Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA), MTM, PTV, V/Line, and our industry partners. This initiative is branded as “Training for the Future”. Under this banner, LXRA are promoting social procurement. This includes the use of social enterprises in the delivery of the Level Crossing Removal Project and the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, both directly and through our supply chain.

Social Enterprise Champion Award

Peter Cox established the community recycling organisation Future Employment Opportunities (FEO) in 1994, operating a recycling shop in Eaglehawk, Victoria. In the following years, he moved into the role of CEO of the organisation, building it from a single shop to a large, multi-site enterprise providing training, work experience and skills development opportunities for the community in the Bendigo/ Eaglehawk area. In 2010, Peter co-founded the Community Recycling Network of Australia (CRNA) with the aim of improving collaboration and peer support among the growing number of non-profit enterprises engaged in resource recovery and waste management in Australia, of which FEO was a leading example.

Tony Sharp is the founder of Substation33. Tony created a vision by which he demonstrated the benefits to YFS Ltd, a community-based not for profit organization, to work towards catering for the needs of value and local access, for local community members suffering under economic challenges whilst also addressing the environmental well-being. The concept started with recycling electronic waste (e-waste) in January 2013, offering volunteers & ‘work for dole’ participants an opportunity to gain confidence and skills to transition into sustainable employment. From inception, Tony has championed the organisation evolution in sharing and teaching others.

Walter Villagonzalo has been an advocate and champion for social entrepreneurship since graduating from the School for Social Entrepreneurs as member of the first class in Melbourne in 2010. He received the Project Achievement Award for his project, The Migrant HUB Incorporated – the organisation he founded and of which he has been the President and CEO since. Walter established The Migrant HUB as a social enterprise to encourage and support migrants to integrate better into Australian society and become more active citizens of their local community.

Women’s Impact Award

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is dedicated to restoring the lives of women in Ethiopia who have survived a horrific childbirth injury called obstetric fistula.  Our mission is to make childbirth injuries a thing of the past.  In Ethiopia, rural women have little or no medical support during childbirth.  Consequently thousands each year develop a tragic childbirth injury which leaves them permanently incontinent. Without help, their lives are ruined. At Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, patients are given free surgery and holistic care. Women are able to return, healed to their village and lead productive lives.  We have six hospitals, a midwifery college and a residential village for long-term patients.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers is the dynamic social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (NPYWC).   Tjanpi celebrates 20 years of innovative fibre arts since its nascent beginnings in 1995 when as a series of basket making workshops were facilitated by NPYWC on the Ngaanyatjarra lands of WA. NPY women wanted meaningful and culturally appropriate employment on their homelands so as to better provide for their families and today Tjanpi’s success lies in the broad engagement and participation of an extraordinary number of women who produce work in any given year. Tjanpi artists are living across 26 communities in the tristate border region of WA, NT and SA.

Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI) develops and provides affordable, secure, long-term housing for vulnerable single women and single women with children. WPI believe that single women and single mothers face significant disadvantage when it comes to employment opportunities, ability to work and income. This limits their access to safe, affordable, long-term housing.  WPI currently owns and manages 68 properties, accommodating over 180 women and children.