Social Enterprise Hubs are an innovative approach to developing partnerships between government, philanthropists and the community sector to support the development of social enterprises in Australia. They are place-based responses to social inclusion and are developed in specific regions to stimulate the development of social enterprises.
SVA’s Social Enterprise Hub is currently located in the ACT.
The Parramatta Social Enterprise Hub project was completed on 30 June 2010 while the Queensland Hubs Project, working with social enterprises in Brisbane, Logan and Ipswich, was completed in December 2011. Find out more about the results of the Parramatta Social Enterprise Hub project here.
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How do Social Enterprise Hubs work?
Social Enterprise Hubs provide business and support services to accelerate the growth of social enterprises through networking opportunities and access to resources that would not otherwise be available or affordable.
The key objectives of a Social Enterprise Hub is to:
- Increase the sustainability of new or existing social enterprises
- Increase employment opportunities for people excluded from the labour market
- Increase the capacity of social entrepreneurs to run their social enterprises
- Improve social inclusion
The Hub meets these objectives by offering a number of services to social enterprises including:
- Meeting Place – opportunities to network with existing entrepreneurs through regular meetings and events
- Business development – support to organisations to enable them to start up or increase their sustainability
- Commerce Panel – a business plan review service provided by a panel of business experts. The panel acts as a gateway for further support
- Procurement Support – advice and guidance on tendering for government or commercial contracts
- Impact Evaluation – annual tracking of the growth, performance and impact of your social enterprise
- Pro bono support – access to mentoring and pro bono support from a range of corporate partners
Combined, these services are aimed at transforming enterprises from ‘piece meal’ organisations to robust, sustainable trading entities delivering social benefits and employment.
How are the Social Enterprise Hubs funded?
The funding model for the social enterprise hubs has evolved over time as our understanding about the level of support required for the hubs’ success has increased. The core principle of the social enterprise hubs is a partnership between the public, private and community sectors, which includes contributing to expertise and resources. The following partners contribute as follows:
- Local Government – provide funding and seek to open up procurement opportunities
- State Government – open up procurement opportunities, seek to engage the Hub in strategic development opportunities for social enterprise and where appropriate match funding
- Corporate Partners – support the Social Enterprise Hub through pro bono support and mentoring.
What are the benefits of the Social Enterprise Hubs?
Social Enterprise Hubs provide a number of benefits to social enterprises including:
- Access to expertise and relevant business knowledge from both the corporate and social sectors
- Learning opportunities
- Networking opportunities