The Impacts of Social Enterprises on Australian Economy

Social enterprises are businesses that aim to address l issues such as social exclusion or homelessness. For example, by running cafes to employ and train disadvantaged youth or homeless, social enterprises harness business for social outcomes.
According to Lisa Waldron, Executive Director of the Westpac Foundation, around two million people in Australia are living below the poverty line. That is roughly 14 per cent of Australia. Fortunately, Victorian social enterprises enable leadership opportunities for women, employ persons with a disability, and create jobs for marginalized groups.
Commissioned by the Victorian government, ‘Map for Impact: The Victorian Social Enterprise Mapping Project 2017’ was part of the implementation of a Victorian Social Enterprise Strategy that was launched early this year. The aim of the strategy is to position social enterprises as leaders in driving inclusive economic growth and employment participation. According to the report, social enterprises employ about 2% of the Victorian workforce and contribute at least $5.2B to the Victorian economy.
In Australia, women hold more than 33% of board positions at social enterprises, compared to less than one 25%r in mainstream businesses. In addition, social enterprises attract large amounts of volunteer support. This creates opportunities for people marginalized from the mainstream workforce.


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