All aboard the Sydney Social Enterprise Bus Tour


Over 20 social enterprises came together to share their vision for a more diverse, sustainable and inclusive society.

Not satisfied with just getting together over a cup of tea or (yet another) Zoom call, the Social Enterprise Council of NSW and ACT (SECNA) brought together 30 key leaders to discuss the future of the industry in a light setting. unconventional.

On board the bus were over 20 social enterprises, including Beehive Industries, Digital Storytellers, StartSomeGood, The Social Outfit, Parliament on King and Kua Coffee; government partners, including Deputy Mayor Jess Scully and Minister Damien Tudehope; and major industry players such as Canva, who have all come together to share their vision and support for social enterprise for a more diverse, sustainable and inclusive society.

Launched earlier this month, SECNA’s inaugural bus tour was touted as a fun and immersive way to explore social enterprises tackling the city’s most complex issues in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Tom Dawkins, co-founder and CEO of StartSomeGood, hosted the event and said the day was a way to bring together social businesses, philanthropists, industry partners and the community at large to raise awareness for the movement .

“Social enterprise is an act. It’s a way of engaging with the world. One way to make an impact, ”Dawkins said.

“It requires marrying business approaches, being active and working in the market, and a lot of what we want to do [today] is to bring the sector closer together.

When you talk to attendees at the start of the event, Scully said she recognizes the city has an amazing social enterprise sector that not everyone can see.

“[The sector is] giving people work opportunities, connecting people to each other and nurturing people, but sometimes all [hard] the work can be behind the scenes and people don’t hear the stories, ”Scully said.

“SECNA’s social enterprise bus tour will take people directly [the heart of] these places.

Philanthropists, corporate employees, government officials and social enterprise leaders visited more than 20 Sydney businesses and had the opportunity to speak to their owners. Business owners like Mikey Leung of Digital Storytellers, an agency that creates impact through storytelling.

Leung told the group that to really help social enterprises grow and make an impact, the best thing leaders can do is encourage sourcing.

“The best thing you can do is buy from social enterprises, and sourcing is really what it’s all about at the end of the day because it drives market demand for social enterprises,” said Leung.

Sally McGeoch of the Westpac Foundation participated in the tour. She said she felt that social enterprises really needed support at the organizational level.

“They need access to funding capacities, buildings and networks, and then at the systems level, they need a really supportive policy environment to thrive,” McGeoch said.

The visit ended with discussions on the future of the sector and closing remarks by the Deputy Mayor.

“We have to be able to prove that best value for money also means money that stays in the local economy, money that goes to organizations with a purpose. And I would like to see us bring other big organizations with us, because if this money can do good several times, once it comes out of our coffers, it is much better for our local community, ”he said. she declared.

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