Social enterprise: It's a term you have probably heard thrown around by now.
Social Traders estimates that there are as many as 20,000 social enterprises in Australia.
Social Enterprises are defined as "businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment." 1
So why are they so important, anyway? What's the deal?
1. Making the Everyday Exceptional: Individual Involvement
The social enterprise model puts the power for change in the hands of the consumers, the everyday heroes. Imagine if every bar of soap you purchased, every cup of coffee, every pair of shoes, were all from a social enterprise. Buying something becomes more than just shopping- it's an act of ethical consciousness, a building block of something much bigger. Social enterprises engage everyone in the project of building a better future.
2. Sticking Together: Social Cohesion
Social enterprises are built with the support of not only individuals, but entire communities. A social enterprise can be a thrumming hub of activity and goodwill. We all love a good cause; think of the last fun-run you attended. Rather than a one-day event, however, a thriving social enterprise can be an ongoing contributor to a healthy, vibrant community that cares and looks out for one another.
3. Everyone's A Winner: Inclusion
From "Minister's Forward Victorian Government Social Enterprise Strategy; A Social Enterprise Strategy For Victoria":
Social enterprises employ twice the rates of Australians with disability and female managers as mainstream small businesses. Our study of Victorian social enterprises also found 12% of jobs are held by previously long-term unemployed people (those who have been out of work for more than 12 consecutive months), and 2% by Indigenous Australians. This shows that social enterprises are an important vehicle for the development of an inclusive economy - one that broadens economic participation, is more equitable, stable, and sustainable.
4. Economic Growth
Social Enterprises "aim to add meaningful value to the world."2
This ImpactBoom article explains that social enterprises are key to moving towards "a life sustaining economy that has social and environmental values at heart."
Obvious economical benefits of social enterprises are the creation of jobs, boosted productivity, and moving towards a "circular economy"3
Social enterprises work at ground-level, with the people, for the people. In a society that embraces the social enterprise business model, the concept of "World-Changing" becomes something that isn't at just the discretion of our government. "World Changing" is something that is in all of our hands.
Wild Timor Coffee are a Social Enterprise. We focus on buying our Timorese coffee direct from growers to ensure that farmers are receiving a fair price for their product. In this way, we can offer continued, sustainable support to Timorese communities.
You can help us continue our mission to support the people of Timor-Leste by purchasing a bag of our coffee here.