Media Release: Victoria is Australia’s Social Enterprise Champion

A new report detailing the impact of the growing Social Enterprise sector has found that Victoria’s 3,500 social enterprises contribute more than $5.2 billion to the Victorian economy.

Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll visited the offices of The Big Issue – one of Australia’s largest social enterprises – to learn more about their busy Christmas period and to release the Map for Impact: Victorian Social Enterprise Mapping report and website. (See )

Developed by the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology, the report and website are key outcomes from the Victorian Government’s Social Enterprise Strategy. The report identifies Victoria as the Australian centre of social enterprise, with more than a quarter of Australia’s social enterprises based in the state.

The Map for Impact report shows that the sector generates around 60,000 jobs, with more than 25 per cent of these jobs addressing the needs of disadvantaged people with barriers to employment.

With more than 50 per cent of social enterprises run by women, the report also found the sector provides jobs for more than 12,000 disabled Victorians, 4000 jobs for long term unemployed people and 985 jobs for indigenous Australians.

Minister Carroll also welcomed a great example of social procurement by Australia Post, which will see the Big Issue’s Women’s Subscription Enterprise process thousands of children’s letters addressed to Santa Claus this Christmas.

The Women’s Subscription Enterprise employs 150 disadvantaged women in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, providing a job and income as well as access to training, mentoring and support. The enterprise is responsible for packing magazines distributed to subscribers and also engages in external contracts with customers such as Australia Post.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll

“Congratulations to the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology, for identifying and characterising Victoria’s huge network of diverse social enterprises. Many social enterprises are giving disadvantaged people the opportunity to share in Victoria’s impressive growth through the dignity of a job. These opportunities are critical to our fair and inclusive economy.”

“The Map for Impact report is a key outcome from the Victorian government’s Social Enterprise Strategy,  the first of its kind in Australia, which will maximise opportunities for social enterprises by improving access to markets, raising awareness and building skills across the sector.”

“The Andrews Labor Government strongly supports the social enterprise sector and congratulates The Big Issue on its commitment to employing disadvantaged Victorians.”

“The Big Issue is one of Australia’s longest-running and most significant social enterprises. At least 6500 Big Issue sellers have sold more than 11 million magazines since 1996, generating $26 million in income for the vendors.”

Weblink to Map for Impact website and Report:

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