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All you need to know about Social Traders certification

Social Traders certification confirms a social enterprise has been “certified” by Social Traders.  By becoming Social Traders certified we provide enterprises with access to a logomark that confirms this relationship.  The language of the mark says “Social Traders certified” because the recognition, awareness and trust lies in the reputation of Social Traders.

By extending Social Traders brand equity to the trusted social enterprises we work with, this certification mark provides assurance to business and government buyers that Social Traders has endorsed a business as a social enterprise.

Find out more about Social Traders certification below.

How will I know when my enterprise is put forward to buyers?

As a certified social enterprise, your profile details are always available to buyers in our social procurement portal.  In some circumstances, Social Traders will create tailored lists of supplier profiles in response to a specific request from a buyer.

As a ST supplier, you will receive invites to exclusive networking events where you will meet buyer members and other certified suppliers, you may also receive invitations to speak and highlight your social enterprise at our networking and social procurement training events.

Why become Social Traders certified?

It’s pretty simple – our customers want a third party certification that they can rely on. It’s how they can manage the risk associated with a false claim for being a social enterprise.

What do I need to do to become Social Traders Certified?

You need to begin an application, located at: Register for certification

What does it cost to become certified?

Social Traders certification attracts an annual fee of $500 per year.

What's the criteria for certification?

We certify social enterprises based on the following criteria:

  • The enterprise has a defined primary social purpose, environmental or other public benefit
  • The enterprise derives a substantial1 portion of its income from trade2
  • The enterprise reinvests 50% or more of any annual profits towards achieving the social purpose.

In order to verify this, we require:

  • A founding document (constitution, articles of association, trust deed) or similar legally binding document which demonstrates your social purpose and commitment to profit reinvestment.
  • A document that substantiates the revenue is generated from trade and profit reinvestment, such as a profit & loss statement for the enterprise.


These documents are kept confidential and used solely for certification purposes.


  1. Substantial portion of income is defined as:
  • 50% or more if trading for more than five years, or
  • 25% or more if trading for three to five years, or
  • A genuine and demonstrable intention to generate 50% or more if trading for less than three years
  1. Trade is defined as the organised exchange of goods and services, including:
  • monetary, non-monetary and alternative currency transactions, where these are sustained activities of an enterprise; contractual sales to governments, where there has been an open tender process; and
  • trade within member-based organisations, where membership is open and voluntary or
  • where membership serves a traditionally marginalised social group

How long does Social Traders certification take?

In our experience, this process of submission, review & any Q&A in between can be done within 24 hours of submission, if all data requested is present.  More often, for the supplier, it will be a half day of work spread over approximately 2 weeks.

Am I guaranteed to win work?

We cannot guarantee you will win work – that’s down to how and when you engage with the buyers.  What we will give you is more than a foot in the door, our introductions significantly cut through your sales lead times.  You will meet buyers at our invite only face-to-face networking events, and buyers will search for your enterprise and your product/ services and capability profile in our social procurement portal.


There is work out there for social enterprises.  We’ve seen game changing work won with many of our facilities maintenance and caterer suppliers, we’ve also seen niche opportunities arise such as a deal to provide flu shots across Melbourne infrastructure projects.


If your product or service can sell to a business, there’s potential for you to win work in applying for certification and meeting buyers who are looking for traditional and innovate ways to include social enterprise in their supply chain.

What if we're not ready to take on large scale projects?

We put you in front of our buyers, what work you agree to take on is up to you.  You are responsible to bid for work you can deliver on.


Once you are Social Traders certified you have access to a range of growth support and advice services (additional fees apply) with our industry experts, tailored to help you win and deliver on contracts.


If you are interested in forming or joining a consortium as some of our suppliers are, we can work with you to help understand the upcoming opportunities for work and parameters for working together.