Foresters Community Finance was successful in its tender to the Australian Government’s Social Enterprise Development and Investment Fund (SEDIF) in mid 2011. As a direct result, Foresters will use the allocated funding to create financial products and capacity improving initiatives for social enterprises nationwide through Foresters’ newly established Social Enterprise Solutions program.
What is a social enterprise?
Social Enterprise Solutions defines social enterprises as organisations that are:
...led by an economic, social, cultural or environmental mission consistent with a public or community benefit; trade to fulfil their mission; derive a substantial portion of their income from trade; and reinvest the majority of their profit/surplus in the fulfilment of their mission.^
Social Enterprise Solutions will work with community businesses, social businesses, intermediate labour market organisations and the trading arms of charities who conduct a social enterprise.
What are some examples of a social enterprise?
1. An independent social enterprise seeking finance for business growth that would not meet the criteria of a mainstream financier
2. A social enterprise that is part of a parent organisation that has the capacity to access finance on behalf of the social enterprise to support its growth
3. An enterprising non-profit seeking to increase its scale and social impact through a business proposal
The focus of these social enterprises will be wide and varied and may include (but not limited to) a focus on employment inclusion, affordable housing, cultural production, the environment and other objectives. Social Enterprise Solutions will require a social enterprise to demonstrate a market mechanism to fulfil their mission in any one sector.
^ Finding Australia’s Social Enterprise Sector, Social Traders and the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, June 2010