I’m Australian myself – grew up there, studied there and have family there. So that’s why I really care alot for the place and its wellbeing. Social entrepreneurship in Australia is pretty much in its infancy there, but here are 3 examples of how social entrepreneurship is coming alive down under and new emerging successful entrepreneurs from Australia are just the beginning.
1. Investment for Social Entrepreneurship Australia
Social Ventures Australia (SVA) was established in 2002 as an independent, nonprofit organization that invests in social entrepreneurship Australia.
By helping to increase the impact and build the sustainability of those in the social sector, the organization seeks to impact social change. SVA’s investments are focused on organizations that show high potential for delivering solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the country.
They provide not only funding but also strategic support to their carefully selected nonprofit partners, in addition to offering consulting services to the social sector at large. SVA believes that major bottlenecks currently exist in the social sector which are preventing the achievement of effective social change.
The are focused on solutions to lift the education and employment participation levels as the most effective foundation for achieving breakthrough change in disadvantaged communities.
2. Hub for Social Entrepreneurship Australia
Sustained.com.au is an online hub for social entrepreneurship Australia. Some exciting developments in 2010 have led to the expansion of this knowledge center on sustainability and innovation, in order to provide more inspiration to help businesses towards a sustainable future.
Sustained was launched in 2007, and since that time there have been some dramatic changes into web and online news worlds. Social networking has grown to be a mainstay in our daily lives, and people are consuming more news, debating and networking online, and watching TV online as well.
In response to these developments, Sustained.com changed the format of their newsletter and website. News remains a cornerstone of the site, but there is lots of additional content from authors and journalists around the world in the form of ebooks, newsletters and audio and video clips as well.
[Update: I recently visited the sustained.com.au website, and unfortunately it seems that it is now down!!?? Perhaps they are temporarily down or not, I'm not sure. Continue to try and check it out.]
3. Young Social Entrepreneurship Australia
Social entrepreneurship Australia is being driven by an increasing number of disillusioned young people who are looking for alternatives to corporate Australia. A good example of this trend is the popularity of the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), a nonprofit that aims to develop community-focused businesses.
It won the inaugural Macquarie Social Innovation Award for 2010. The organization has been given a $100,000 grant as part of its prize, and six students have been selected to receive $10,000 each to develop their own social enterprises. Benny Callaghan, CEO of the SSE, said that the sector is finally being taken seriously by investors and big business.
Although its still early in the sector’s development, a lot of larger firms now see social enterprise and successful entrepreneurs as an important area. That’s because a growing number of talented people are leaving the corporate world to start their own social enterprises.