There is no one definition of social enterprises. We generally define social enterprises as organisations that:
- have a social, cultural, or environmental mission with a public or community benefit;
- derive a substantial portion of their income from trading revenue (as opposed to grants/donations); and
- use the majority of their profits to work towards their social mission.
They may be legally structured as not-for-profit or for-profit businesses.
Skoll Foundation have created a great video called ‘Social Entrepreneurs: Pioneering Social Change’
A number of organisations support the growth of Australian social enterprises:
- The School for Social Entrepreneurs runs practical learning programs for entrepreneurial individuals who have an idea or start–up venture with a social or environmental benefit.
- Social Traders is a specialist organisation that supports the development of commercially viable social enterprises throughout Australia. The Social Traders website also offers an excellent directory of business and social enterprise resources, state-by-state.
- Social Ventures Australia has developed a comprehensive Business Planning Guide for Social Enterprises.
- Business Enterprise Centres Australia: Your local BEC will be able to offer you current literature and publications on topics such as tax, GST & PAYG, business registration, marketing and business bench marks
If you are interested in learning more about social enterprise, here are our top picks: