A new report has demonstrated that social enterprises can create jobs for people excluded from the mainstream workforce, particularly the long-term unemployed and showed that this equity outcome is also efficient, as government investment in the creation of businesses is returned via taxation revenue, and savings in social security expenditure.
The report entitled ‘Solving employment exclusion using Social Enterprises’, was commissioned by SVA’s Employment Team and developed by SVA Consulting to review three initiatives funded by government that were focused on supporting employment-based social enterprises. The Supporting Social Enterprise Project (SSEP), the Queensland Inclusive Social Enterprise Project (QISEP) and the Youth Enterprises partnership (YEP) initiatives were delivered by SVA using the ‘investment plus support’ approach to the creation, development and growth of social enterprise. All three projects reviewed in the report exceeded their targets. Social return calculations on a number of the social enterprises demonstrated that all delivered ‘value for money’ to those investing in them.
The report was commissioned in order to evaluate these three specific initiatives, offer observations and insights that could inform future project development and provide recommendations to both funders (including Governments) and intermediaries (including SVA) on how to develop social enterprises more effectively.
For Government and other funders, the recommendations include a justification of further investment in social enterprises, the importance of carrying out a comprehensive assessment of the social return on investment, supporting the establishment of social enterprise intermediaries and recognising that the development of a social enterprise takes time. For intermediaries, including SVA, the recommendations advise adopting the investment plus support approach when working with social enterprises.