They said it would never catch on – but the social enterprise is here to stay
Social Traders’ Tara Anderson and Bella Borello explain why now is the time to lift the curtain on social enterprise and show the world that business for good can, and should, continue as usual.
The past two years have rocked the world in ways none of us could have predicted. We have all had to adapt when entire swathes of our economy were frozen. What this time has given us is the opportunity to take stock. To hit the reset button for our economy and our society.
As we enter the recovery phase, now is the time to think about what kind of world we want to create from here. Social enterprise can and should be a key part of the new normal.
But the challenge is that most people either have no idea what a social business is, or that there are already thousands who are making the world a better place all over the world.
As the business world grapples with the goal of integration, social enterprises have shown that it is possible for decades.
In Australia alone, our member social enterprises have collective revenues of over $ 2.5 billion. They generate work for more than 21,000 people with significant barriers to mainstream employment, and nearly $ 125 million is donated in free or low-cost goods and services or in direct funding for charitable purposes.
It’s time to raise the curtain on social enterprise. It’s time to silence the naysayers and empower the dreamers. It’s time to re-energize the marketing power behind the social enterprise industry.
That’s why this year, we launched a social enterprise campaign called “It will never happen”.
The campaign highlights groundbreaking ideas (think the plane, the internet, the cell phone) that weren’t taken seriously at first, but ultimately changed the course of history.
We want the world to see social enterprise in a similar light, because we know that it is ready to grow and that the impact on our planet and our society will be revolutionary.
“It’ll Never Catch On” is designed to entice people to “catch up” and buy from a social enterprise.
We are already seeing the campaign making an impact. Halfway through the eight weeks, we had over 70,000 campaign impressions and interest from over 250 organizations interested in getting involved in social procurement.
We have also set up an international task force with other global leaders telling the story of social enterprise – Social Enterprise UK, Buy Social Canada, Supply Change UK, Buy Social USA and Akina in New Zealand. . We collectively share our learning and ideas on how to do this right on an even bigger scale.
Now is the time to cry out that business and social goals can go hand in hand. It’s time to show how the ‘best kept secret’ of social enterprise has been doing it successfully for decades. It’s time not only to get more “people in the tent,” so to speak, but to quickly expand the tent by showing the world that business for good can and should be business as usual.
As a sector, let’s continue to speak up and share our stories. Together. Collaborate to amplify the visibility of the work we do in the same way we collaborate to get it done. Only then will he impose himself deeply enough to change the status quo.
The social enterprise was created for this moment in history. It’s a ready-made solution that has been breaking down the disadvantages and changing lives for decades. We need to make it known that there is another way of doing business that works. Better.
We have to say it boldly. And proudly. And above all, as one.
You can join Social Traders in shining a light on how you are leading the charge in helping the social business ‘grow’. Get in touch: [email protected]