Social Traders

I went to a DESIS forum a fortnight ago on the topic of starting a DESIS hub in Melbourne and Mark Daniels of Social Traders spoke.

This is what they have to say:

Social Traders is a small nonprofit organisation established in 2008 to support and encourage the establishment of commercially viable social enterprises throughout Australia. Working with government, community, business and research partners, we aim to:

  • Raise awareness about social enterprise and demonstrate its benefits
  • Open up markets for social enterprise products and services
  • Increase finance available to start and develop social enterprises
  • Build capacity of social enterprises to trade successfully
  • Support the coordination of social enterprise development in Australia.

They define social enterprise as organisations that:

a. Are led by an economic, social, cultural, or environmental mission consistent with a public or community benefit;
b. Trade to fulfil their mission;
c. Derive a substantial portion of their income from trade; and
d. Reinvest the majority of their profit/surplus in the fulfilment of their mission.

It was great to discover that there is support and financial encouragement for social enterprise, though this organisation only assists Victorian businesses.