March 17, 2017

AN EXCITING FUTURE FOR SOCIAL ENTERPRISE IN BALLARAT

Social enterprises in Ballarat will have greater opportunities to expand their business, employ new staff and access more markets as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s landmark Social Enterprise Strategy.

Parliamentary Secretary for Human Services Sharon Knight and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard today launched the strategy at Ballarat Regional Industries in Ballarat – a social enterprise that provides skills training, employment and support for people with a disability.

The new Social Enterprise Strategy, which is supported by $5 million in funding from the Labor Government, identifies three key areas for action:

  • increasing sector impact and innovation
  • building business capacity and skills
  • improving market access.

Immediate priorities include establishing a state-wide Victorian Social Enterprise Network, sector research and economic modelling, a feasibility study for online skills development and training opportunities for social enterprises.

A social procurement framework will also be developed to help open more government contracts to purchasing goods and services from social enterprises, generating positive outcomes for the Victorian economy and community.

While BRI is one of Ballarat’s largest and most obvious examples of a Social Enterprise, Ballarat is home to more than 260 social enterprises including organisations like United Way, McCallum, Pinarc and Ballarat Group Training. These organisations are led by philosophy to deliver a public or community benefit in the work they do.

The Government has consulted with more than 160 social enterprises and stakeholders to ensure the strategy reflects the needs of the sector. You can access a copy of the Social Enterprise Strategy at www.economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/social-enterprise.

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Ms Sharon Knight

“Hundreds of social enterprises based in Ballarat will directly benefit from the initiatives outlined in this Australian-first strategy.”

“This sector has enormous potential for economic growth and job creation, which is great news for local Ballarat communities.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Mr Geoff Howard

 “Ballarat’s social enterprises are driven by a commitment to social wellbeing and community development.”

“This strategy will creatre further opportunities to ensure they can thrive in the marketplace and continue to create jobs and support for our community.”