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February 19, 2013

Solving the employment issue

Executive Director’s note from Issue 3, February 2013.

Duncan Peppercorn

Two million Australians – almost one in every 10 people – want to be in work (and aren’t), want to work more, or are excluded from working. Not only does this take a dreadful toll on their wellbeing, it’s also a huge waste for Australia, missing the potential for economic growth and draining social budgets. As you might expect, migrants, people with a disability, Indigenous Australians and young people are over-represented in this group.

Frustratingly, macro solutions don’t adequately address the need to create real jobs that are financially sustainable. To do this entrepreneurship (and social entrepreneurship) must be encouraged, corporates encouraged and shown how to create jobs for these Australians, social enterprises seeded and supported to succeed, and tools developed to help social entrepreneurs address the challenge of mixing business and purpose. That’s what Social Ventures Australia is working on; it’s what we discuss in this issue of the SVA Quarterly; and it’s what the SVA Employment Dialogue event on 26 February considered.

We’ve talked to Adrian Appo at Ganbina about the challenge of creating jobs specifically for Indigenous Australians, building on our work with Reconciliation Australia and Generation One; we’ve looked back over the long-term Queensland Social Enterprise project to understand what worked (and what was more challenging); and we review the extraordinarily innovative structure that Bec Scott at STREAT developed to allow investors to help it to buy a coffee and café business.

David White continues his series about effective boards, and our Associate Jon Huggett in London derails our unconsidered embrace of the benefits of meritocracy.

The team is valiantly dragging me into the 21st century. You can now follow us on Twitter @Social_Ventures and find out what’s being said with #SVACQtrly.

We hope that this issue challenges, informs and excites you. Keep on learning, share what you learn, and create change!

Duncan Peppercorn

Duncan Peppercorn
(Former) Executive Director SVA Consulting

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