The social enterprise sector is set to grow strongly in the next few years, with State Governments developing policy to support new ventures.
Managing Director of Social Traders, David Brookes, told the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce lunch on social enterprises that the certification group has been involved in ventures which had generated $70 million in contracts.
The lunch forum was supported by the PAYCE Foundation and law firm Gilbert + Tobin.
“We now have social venture procurement policies in Victoria and Queensland and NSW is developing one,’’ he said.
Mr Brookes said these policies would provide a big boost to the sector in the next few years.
He estimated that there were between 15,000 and 20,000 social enterprises in Australia operating across every industry sector.
“Most of the them are small businesses and they have the same issues as other small business – they need the right support, access to appropriate finance and access to markets.’’
Executive Manager of the PAYCE Foundation Andrea Comastri outlined how the PAYCE Foundation was supporting two social enterprises – the Kick Start Café which provides young people with hospitality training and a working blueberry farm near Coffs Harbour which supports the operation of drug rehabilitation provider Adele House.