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Victorian Infrastructure Plan represents huge opportunity for social improvement

October 24, 2017

Last updated on March 14, 2018

Melbourne not-for-profit Social Traders has welcomed the Victorian Infrastructure Plan as a $1.2 billion opportunity for Victoria’s social enterprise sector, and the thousands of disadvantaged people they work with.

The Plan includes a record $40 billion investment in critical infrastructure projects, with the Andrew Government last week endorsing 134 of the Plan’s 137 recommendations.

Earlier this year the Victorian Government released Australia’s first Social Enterprise Strategy, designed to drive social enterprise sector growth, which in part requires that 3% of all contracts on the State Government’s Level Crossing Removal Authority are sourced from social enterprise.

Social Traders Mark Daniels said that this policy position, and the adoption of the Infrastructure Plan represented an unprecedented opportunity for the social enterprise sector.

“The Victorian Government is leading the way in driving awareness of social procurement as a critical step to tackling disadvantage, and the corporate sector needs to follow its lead,” Daniels said.

“Buying from social enterprise represents the greatest untapped potential in generating positive, sustainable social impact and change,” Daniels said.

“We estimate that for every $100,000 dollars spent on social procurement, one job is created for those suffering or at risk of disadvantage.

“We need to help corporate Australia understand what a major impact they could be having – for both themselves as much as disadvantaged Australians.

“They also need to understand there is a groundswell of conscientious consumers out there looking to spend their money with businesses that participate in social trading, which is where the commercial opportunities and benefits for them lie.”

‘Social procurement’ refers to purchasing goods or services from businesses categorised as social enterprises – that is, either profit or non-profit commercial entities that, at their core, tackle social problems, improve communities, provide access to employment and training or help the environment.

Daniels said that Westpac, Australia Post, Boral, L’Oreal, and Mirvac were some of the small group of entities that have collectively spent approx. $20 million with social enterprises in the past 18 months.

Social Traders are an organisation that works to connect corporate entities with social enterprise.

There are approximately 20,000 social enterprises operating in the Australian marketplace, with over 30% having commenced trading in the past 5 years.

For further information, interviews, case studies or images contact:

Mark Hemetsberger, Head of Marketing – Social Traders
M: 0438 947 523

James Aanensen, Public Relations Exchange
M: 0410 518 590

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