Sustainable Social Enterprise Project

Recognising the need to build sector responsiveness and resilience and ultimately move towards a social enterprise model, the Australian Government has committed to a series of initiatives to help realise this vision and to prepare Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) looking to transition to a commercially viable social enterprise or social firm model.

SVA is leading a consortium of partners made up of Social Firms Australia, Social Traders and Matrix on Board, to deliver the Sustainable Social Enterprise Project.

The aim of this project is to assist ADEs to become more commercially viable and transition to a social enterprise or make the transition to a social firm with a more integrated working environment. Recognising the challenges inherent in transitioning to a social enterprise or social firm, the Sustainable Social Enterprise Project the Sustainable Social Enterprise Project is conducting business reviews for 35 ADEs across Australia and has run a series of 20 interactive workshops for ADEs wanting to start the transition process.

Conducted by experts in their fields, the workshops were held across Australia in both regional centres and major cities between April and June 2013. These interactive forums were designed to provide organisations with a deeper understanding of the transition process, as well as helping to develop effective and practical tools to support this process. 200 individuals, from 100 different organisations attended the free workshops which covered a range of topics of direct relevance to the operation of ADEs: defining market opportunity, social impact measurement, understanding the tendering process, understanding social enterprise, social finance and transitioning to a social firm.

Originally contracted to deliver business reviews for 20 ADEs, but due to the success of the project to date, FaHCSIA requested that an additional 15 business reviews be made available to Australian Disability Enterprises.