Social Enterprises: What are they and what’s so inspiring about them?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We shift and shy away from the burden of helping others for a plethora of reasons. From indifference to uncertainty, finding an effective means of helping others can be a real hurdle. But people like Adam Khafif, Sally Irwin, and Anna Robson are facing the challenge.

In this series, I’m highlighting the work of everyday people – from streetwear label to survivor schools, and refugee recruitment services, their work is nothing short of inspiring. But first…

What is a social enterprise?

Social enterprises exist to benefit an economic, social, cultural or environmental aspect of the community. Part of the profit they generate is reinvested to help issues such as youth homelessness or domestic violence, and more.

In 2016, there were an estimated 20,000 social enterprises in Australia. Over 90% of these identified social enterprises, were small to medium-sized businesses, predominantly operating within service-based or retail industries.

Whichever issue lies at its heart, social enterprises aim to make a difference by creating meaningful employment opportunities or working towards an innovative solution.

The difference between social enterprises and not-for-profits?

Both social enterprises and not-for-profits (NFPs) exist to reinvest their profits to contribute to a wider social benefit.

NFPs are organisations that are founded and operated for non-personal or gain. Any profit that is generated can only be utilised for operational costs such as wages, infrastructure, and administration. According to Australia’s Corporations Act (2011), NFPs must be registered and if its operations shut down, revenue can be redirected to NFPs of a similar cause.

Social enterprises are not legally defined and can encompass a broad range of commercial activity that passes on the majority of their profit for specific projects and issues.

With creativity and purpose, these three social enterprises use what they love to raise awareness for contemporary issues. Read their stories:

Streetwear label speaks up about gender inequality