March 14, 2019
Social Traders has formally launched its full suite of services into Queensland as it looks to maximise the potential for job creation through the state’s growing social enterprise sector.
For the first time, Social Traders will have a dedicated Queensland-based office working to identify and capitalise on social procurement opportunities between social enterprises and the corporate and Government sectors.
Social Traders Managing Director David Brookes said his team would work closely with the Queensland State Government and Queensland Social Enterprise Council (QSEC), in developing a coordinated approach.
“We estimate that there are more than 1000 social enterprises operating in Queensland, making a significant contribution to the State’s economy,” Mr Brookes said.
“We’re investing in resources here because a strategic and integrated approach is critical to foster growth and realise the potential of social enterprise.
“Around Australia we’ve seen first-hand the significant difference that private and public-sector buyers can make to reducing long-term unemployment challenges by incorporating social enterprise into their procurement practices.
“Since 2017, we’ve facilitated more than $30 million worth of social procurement contracts, which has supported around 400 jobs for people facing some form of disadvantage or exclusion. These numbers provide a compelling indication of the impact social procurement can have.
“Our team will focus on promoting the value of Social Traders Certification, as well as engaging with business and Government bodies looking to invest in social impact.”
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman welcomed the commitment from Social Traders to Queensland.
“A strong, diverse and growing social enterprise sector produces benefits for our state economy and communities,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Assisting Queenslanders who have struggled to get a job, to gain meaningful employment in a sustainable operation is a rewarding and worthwhile cause.
“I’m happy to say the Palaszczuk Government is already working in collaboration with industry to support this sector because inclusive workplaces deliver long-term and valuable benefits for local communities.”
Minister Fentiman added that the State Government would consider adopting a similar approach taken by the Victorian Government, which last year launched a Social Procurement Framework, which set procurement guidelines for all Government departments and agencies.
In conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and Central Queensland University, Social Traders will host a networking event on March 12 to officially mark its Queensland launch, and showcase the work already underway to drive social procurement in the state.
Representatives from commercial property developer Mirvac, and Queensland social enterprise Nundah Community Centre, will join Minister Fentiman and more than 100 representatives from the social enterprise industry at the event.
Social Traders is Australia’s leading social enterprise organisation that supports job creation for disadvantaged people by connecting certified social enterprises to procurement opportunities in the Government and business sector.
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