Happy Social Enterprise Day! This year November has been marked as Social Enterprise Month and 16 November Social Enterprise Day… a time to raise the profile of social enterprise around the world and celebrate the amazing work we all do.
There’s so much to celebrate and I’m stoked about the progress we’ve made over the past few years as a local and global ecosystem. Awareness of social enterprise and the value they create has never been better, including by customers and governments.
As the people doing this work, we invest so much time, money, and energy working on the biggest challenges our global community and planet faces. We need to equally invest in our own wellbeing. We all need to support the people doing this work. The people who are not just creating economic value, but also social and environmental value at the same time.
Working on a social enterprise idea can be very rewarding… but there are also plenty of challenges. Unfortunately so many I speak with are struggling. Common themes are feeling stuck and overwhelmed – and many are compromising their financial health and that of the people they care about most because they can’t pay themselves.
Working on our social enterprise ideas shouldn’t leave us broke, burnt out, and isolated.
I created this free Social Enterprise Healthcheck & Scorecard to help you baseline where you’re at, reflect on how things are going, and suggest some things to think about doing next. You can get through it in under five minutes but the process of reflecting is just as valuable as the score. The focus is on five key areas:
- Mindset & Wellbeing
- Purpose & Vision
- Workflow & Momentum
- Customers & Market
- Solution & Business Model
One of the key things I’m focused on is helping people design, build, and launch their social enterprise idea. Regenerative ideas that solve problems that matter for your customers, communities, and our planet. Ideas that are financially successful and increase our wellbeing while we do it.
How do we do that? I love working alongside people to help them navigate the social enterprise journey – to cheer them on with coaching and advice. It’s also why I wrote Solve Problems That Matter, a practical guide full of actions to help build wellbeing and happiness habits integrated in the workflow of taking a human-centred approach to regenerative innovation. This is for you if you’re just starting out… or if you’ve been going for years. Innovation never stops.
Not familiar with social enterprise? You’re probably wondering…
What’s a Social Enterprise?
Over the years this has been a hotly debated question. We now have a simple way to answer it…
“A social enterprise is a business, for good.
They trade like any other business, but exist specifically to make the world a better place”.Social Enterprise Australia
Dynamic4 is proud to be a social enterprise and certified B Corp focused on design and innovation for happier communities.
You can find out more about the size and economic contribution of social enterprise in Australia on the Social Enterprise Australia (the national peak body) website, but here are some headlines:
- There are over 12,000 social enterprises in Australia
- They contribute $21.3 billion to the Australian economy each year and account for 1% of GDP
- They employ over 200,000 people; that’s 1 in 60 jobs or 1.6% of the Australian workforce. This is about the same number of people as employed in arts and recreation services or the mining industry
On a global scale, People and Planet First was launched last month at the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) in Amsterdam and already spans 77 countries. In Australia, Social Traders is the certifying body.
How Can I Get Involved?
I’m glad you asked! I hope you’ll get involved as part of social enterprise day and month… and hopefully ongoing as we make social enterprise business as usual.
Be a Customer
Social enterprises need paying customers. There are plenty of great social enterprises providing products and services to companies, other social enterprises, NFPs, all levels of government, community groups, and individuals.
I hope you’ll review your procurement policies and personal spending to consider or even preference social enterprises.
Join the Community
Why not celebrate the day by joining the Social Enterprise Council for NSW & ACT (SECNA), the member-led peak body representing and connecting the interests of social enterprises across NSW & ACT. If you’re keen to be part of the community but not a social enterprise organisation, you can always join as an associate member or supporter.
I’m proud to have been a founding board member of SECNA for the first four years – and wrapped up my time on the board earlier this year when I reached my max term.
Social enterprise is a team sport. Come and play 😃