Social Enterprise Funding


This week we’re featuring a number of grant opportunities available for Social Enterprises. According to Social Traders Australia, social enterprises are 'businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide access to employment and training, or help the environment.'

A major feature of social enterprises is that they reinvest a proportion of their profits back into their mission. Social Enterprises are often run by savvy, socially minded entrepreneurs who have come up with innovative ways to address social challenges. As an example, STREAT, located in Melbourne, runs seven interconnected enterprises, to include four cafes, a catering company, bakery and coffee roaster – all offering pathways to training opportunities in hospitality and the arts for disadvantaged youth. Lifestyle Solutions in Newcastle has five social enterprises to include an outdoor nursery, gardening maintenance, online bookstore, home maintenance and mowing – all creating employment for people with a disability, mainly mental health.

Social Enterprises are on the rise. As of 2016 there were an estimated 20,000 social enterprises operating in Australia under a range of different legal structures, and across a number of industries. At the moment nearly 75% are described as being small, with only 4% in the category of large.

Similar to most start-ups, capital raising is a major challenge, however many investors are keen to grow a sector that combines a ‘for purpose’ approach with business – hence there are a number of grant opportunities and social enterprise incubators and accelerators popping up all over the country.

Let’s hope these For Purpose enterprises are the future of all businesses.

Capacity Building Coordinator


Lesley Harris

Capacity Building Coordinator