Good news for the social enterprise community! The Victorian Government’s Social Enterprise Strategy, the first-of-its-kind in Australia has been released recently! There has been ongoing discussions about the creation of an Australian first social enterprise sector-wide strategy and Victoria has positioned itself to lead the country in driving employment participation and inclusive economic growth through social enterprise. So, what is the Social Enterprise Strategy? And what does this mean for you?
There are 3 action areas and 8 initiatives in the strategy that aims to grow and improve sustainability for the social and economic benefit for Victoria. The Government has allocated $3 million to start implementing some of the Social Enterprise Strategy’s activities. Over the coming months, we can expect to see more partnership between government and the social enterprise sector in carrying out the initiatives across Victoria.
Here are some government initiatives that social enterprises should look out for:
- Updates of relevant information on government websites and in program guidelines.
- The state-wide Victorian Social Enterprise Network which government will work with to implement this strategy. The network will include project and issue-based meetings, complement the other strategy initiatives and support engagement of social enterprise SMEs with government, intermediaries, buyers and each other.
- A skills development program for social enterprise SME founders and managers to grow your business – supporting the viability, sustainability and growth of the SME.
- A pilot funding to test new initiatives supporting the development of the intermediary sector to provide specialist business support, advice, mentoring and signposting to social enterprise networks, investors and buyers.
- Social procurement pipeline for social enterprises – the government is developing a social procurement framework to provide guidance to departments and agencies regarding opening tender and procurement opportunities to social enterprise SMEs.
- Development of a recognition scheme to help identify social enterprises and build the confidence of buyers, creating a directory-like information source identifying Victorian social enterprises.
- An on-line Matching Platform and On-ground Events Calendar to link government and corporate buyers with social enterprise and support a calendar of metropolitan and regional market place events to link buyers with social enterprise.
The strategy is still at its early stages but this is an exciting time to be part of the social enterprise sector and a huge milestone for the future development and growth of social enterprise in Australia.