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Posts Tagged ‘social enterprise’

Social Traders GOOD gift Guide

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on December 13th, 2012

Photo by Jilligan86 via flickr cc

From the Good Gift Catalogue by Social Traders:

The Good Gift Christmas Catalogue is Social Traders’ initiative to encourage people to support social enterprise by facilitating online Christmas shopping.

The strategic power of purchasing is becoming one of the most effective ways that organisations and individuals can achieve social change.  To harness this collective purchasing power, earlier this year Social traders launched The Social Enterprise Finder – the first online directory of social enterprises in Australia with over 5000 listings.

An extension of The SE Finder, the GOOD Gift Catalogue enables people to browse products and services offered by over 50 Australian social enterprises and to learn about the different purposes of these organisations.  A social enterprise gift gives good to more than just the recipient.  Purchasing these goods supports businesses that exist for a community benefit.

This Christmas, why not give a gift that gives a stuff?

>> View the Good Gift Christmas Catalogue online.

Social Enterprise Conference: Global Shifts 2012

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on November 12th, 2012

12 December , 2012 8:30 amto14 December , 2012 7:00 pm

Global Shifts 2012 – Social Enterprise Conference

Bringing together change-makers, entrepreneurs and high-profile leaders from Australia and abroad the conference will discuss, debate and demonstrate ways in which pushing the boundaries of existing business models can contribute to positive social change.

The conference builds on the groundswell of activity and commitment in the social enterprise space in our region and beyond, and aims to coalesce this energy into a powerful movement for change.

Held over three days the conference will not only stimulate and engage you in ideas and actions, you will have the opportunity to explore social enterprise Melbourne, network, and converse with people from all over the world who are seeking to bring about change.

12 – 14 December

9 workshops; 17 panel sessions; 1 debate and 1 real-live (Social) Dragon’s Den. 5 keynote sessions. 70+ speakers from Cambodia, India, United States, Bhutan, Vietnam, Africa, Palestine, Israel, the UK and Europe; as well as from all over Australia – from cities and from the outback. From philanthropic not-for-profits to big businesses making big changes… this is the Social Enterprise ecosystem in all its diversity and complexity.

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to make a difference…

If you want to find out more about how social enterprises function and what models really work…

If you want to be inspired; learn; debate; discuss; argue; and be amazed…

Then this is the conference for you: 3 days in Melbourne, 12-14 December…might just change your life.


Community-Supported Agriculture + Supermarket: Cairns

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on October 19th, 2012

Real Food Network produce at a local farmers’ market

The Real Food Network in Cairns, North Queensland, has been providing members with weekly boxes of locally-grown, mostly organic and biodynamic fruit and veggies for a couple of years in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) model.  This effort alone benefits a community that is regularly cut off, by cyclones and floods, from a food supply chain that depends on north-south travel along the coast.

Now the Network has gone further in establishing local food systems, setting up a community based supermarket in collaboration with a disability employment service, Ostara.  Real Food Plus employs clients of Ostara, with the shop’s fit-out and decor built by the staff from recycled and reclaimed materials.  The supermarket is a pick-up point for CSA boxes, but also sells surplus from the farmers (and backyard growers) direct to the public and provides members with the opportunity to add a few extras as they go.

Reminding us once again that farmers are worth their weight in gold, below is the list of what’s available in the box and in the shop (and who grew it) this week:


– Organic Sebago Potato, Kenneth, Kaban
– Homegrown Zucchini, Beetroots, Les & Bettie, Biboohra
– Biodynamic Russian Garlic, John and Adam, Kaban
– Organic Tomatoes, Lena, Koah
– Koah gold Oranges, Big Bulky Watermelon, Bruno and Carlo, Koah
– Cert. Organic Limes, Mint & Chokos Vi and Stan, Red Hill
– Basil, Vince and Kerri, Paddy´s Green
– Organic baby Bak Choi or Organic Baby Buk Choi or Organic Choy sum, (Asian Veggies)
– SkyBurry Red Paw Paw, Paddy´s Green
– Pineapple, Stephen, paddy’s Green
– White & also Red Onions, Arilo (Vince’s brother) Channal Road.
– Silverbeet, Vince, Spring Creek
– Organic Lettuce, Thom, Closey River

IN THE SHOP IN CAIRNS : (the list above PLUS the list below !)

– Organic Parsley
– Watermelons, Koah, Bruno.
– Organic Star Apple, Speewah, Chrystel
– Organic Black Sapote, Kuranda, Matt
– Organic Eggplant, Organic Tomatoes, Organic greens, Machans Beach, Jez
– Organic Kipfler, Kaban, Kenneth
– Organic Asian Veggies 3 varieties above(!), Organic Daikon, (and more Organic Thai Eggplant Faces),White Rock, Van
– Organic Spring Onions, Organic Sugar Bananas, Organic Spinach bagged, Organic Roma Tomatoes, Organic Choko’s, Tolga, Louie and Dianella (and Otto)
– Organic Tumeric, Ginger and garlic, various, Speewah.
– Yamagishi Happy Eggs, South Johnston, Yas
– Raw untreated Honey from Mareeba, John
– Butternut Pumpkin, Papa Miguel, Mutchilba.
– Discounted Oranges, Tomatoes, Bananas and Pawpaws and more coming in from your backyard.
– Plus lots more dried local fruit in the Pantry.
– Organic & Permaculture Eggplants, Organic Tomatillos, Organic Herbs and Salad Greens, Machans Beach, Jez & Allister.
– PLUS more of course.


(Sadly they don’t service the Melbourne area, but you can join a local CSA – check out CERES’ Fair Food.)

Mt.Buffalo Community Enterprise: Final Update

Posted in Movements, Policies by Kate Archdeacon on April 12th, 2012

2007 photo by SplaTT via flickr CC

Back in 2010, we started hearing about the Mt.Buffalo Community Enterprise (MBCE) – a group established to take over the lease of the Mt Buffalo Chalet.  At the time, David Brookes, Managing Director of Social Traders said, “The proposed redevelopment of the Chalet by the North East community has the potential to create an iconic social enterprise for Victoria and we welcome the opportunity to support the business planning process over the next 12 months.”

We received a final update from the group today, along with an open letter to the community which we reprint in full below.  The MBCE is wrapping up, but support for the Chalet to be used as accommodation is still strong, and the local community is discussing further public meetings with the shire council, so stay involved if you have the chance.

Open Letter to the Community

In 2009, a group of 17 North East residents got together to develop a plan to restore and rejuvenate Mt Buffalo Chalet. As most people know, Mt Buffalo Chalet is a 100 year old heritage listed guest house that closed down in 2007. Today, it remains closed and decaying behind cyclone wire fencing.

We formed a community-owned enterprise that could take over the Chalet and give it a new and viable future. We did it because the prevailing Government policy at the time seemed to rely on some ‘white knight developer’ riding in to save the Chalet. We didn’t and still don’t believe in that. We think the Government and community have to face up to the inherent limitations of the Chalet as a commercial proposition and take ownership of it as a core heritage and community asset. That needs a change in mind-set.

So we lodged a tender, put together a business plan, engaged architects and developed a concept to restore and reopen the Chalet. Our Plan was to cost some $50 million, of which we were seeking about $33.0 million from the State Government. Our community ownership model offered a way to pool Government and private investment with 51% of profits going back to into the community through a separate Mt Buffalo Community Foundation.

Unfortunately, the Government has not supported our proposal. In a recent announcement, Environment Minister Ryan Smith has allocated funds to do further research into options and what the future for the Chalet might be.

On this basis, the members of Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise Pty Ltd. formally resolved on 27 March 2012 to commence wind-up proceedings for our company. We have recognised that the Government has chosen to explore other directions and options and not to follow the community ownership path we proposed for the Chalet.

The Minister says that the Government does not believe that accommodation can be a viable option at Mt Buffalo in the future. We don’t agree. We think it can be viable if the Government is prepared to invest in the necessary infrastructure. More than that, accommodation is intrinsic to what the Chalet is. The situation the Chalet finds itself in can be put down to many decades –under governments of both persuasions – of inadequate investment.

Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise developed a Plan that would restore that Chalet to its former glory, respect its heritage status, and at the same time bring it up to being a 21st century visitor destination. Our vision was to get the people of Victoria and the North East to become actual shareholders in a community-owned, 21st Century Chalet. Under our plan, it would have a modern day visitor interpretative centre and cafe complex as well as accommodation. Our Plan would see the Chalet become –again – a ‘must-see’ visitor destination as a focal point for the whole North East.

The shareholders of Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise accept the Government’s decision. However, our passion and desire to save the Chalet has not diminished.

Our fear now is that the flawed presumption that accommodation can never again work up at the Chalet will gain legs. Our fear is that the accommodation at the Chalet will be demolished to make way for a limited, half-hearted cafe /parks office without first having a grand plan and institutional structure for ownership in place.

If that happens, it will mean that in fact we haven’t saved Mt Buffalo Chalet at all. We will have preserved some of the physical remnants of a former Chalet as some type of museum piece.

Our position remains that Mt Buffalo Chalet should be preserved and rejuvenated as an iconic guesthouse/accommodation and visitor destination for future generations to enjoy. It has the potential to be a significant generator of employment and economic benefit as well as community benefit. As a community, we need to find a way to make the significant investment necessary to achieve that. Indeed, if this is the Government’s goal, we will wholeheartedly support it.

The members of Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise would like to say thank you to everyone in the community who has supported us in our efforts over the past 2 years. We entered this process, in good faith, only because we care about Mt Buffalo Chalet. We are proud of the Plans we developed – they have stood up to significant financial, technical and heritage scrutiny.

What Happens Now?

There is clearly still a need for a broad-based community advocacy group to be formed to advocate into the Government on the communities behalf – “Save Our Chalet”. We have approached Alpine Shire to convene a public meeting in the next month or so to discuss what such a group might look like, ascertain interest and get things moving.

We hope like-minded people and institutions across Victoria and the North East will continue through other channels to advocate and agitate so our children and grand children can one day enjoy a genuine experience of Mt Buffalo Chalet.

Yours sincerely,

John Brown AO


Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise Pty. Ltd.

Secondhand Books Online: Brotherhood Books

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on September 21st, 2011

Brotherhood Books is a Social Enterprise from the Brotherhood of St Laurence and is intended to encourage the recycling of high quality books and to contribute funds to the Brotherhood’s charitable operations. Over the last 10 years, we have received in excess of 45 tonnes of donated books, and the collection continues to grow. Books are sorted and cleaned, then sold through the Brotherhood Books website and delivered to your doorstep. However if you love to browse the shelves, our books are also available in the Brotherhood Community Stores around Victoria. For locations please click here.

Brotherhood Books also works with other like-minded charities, including our most recent partner, St Luke’s of Bendigo. St Luke’s is regional Victoria’s largest not-for-profit welfare agency. Working in rural and regional communities, St Luke’s aim is to help people to make positive changes and contribute to their communities. With sites throughout the Loddon Mallee and southern New South Wales, St Luke’s staff of over 360 works with children, their families and communities to bring hope and create opportunities for development and improvement. 100% of the profits from Brotherhood Books’ collection go towards the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s work in helping disadvantaged people build better lives. Click here for more about the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

School for Social Entrepreneurs: Applications Open

Posted in Movements, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on May 13th, 2011

Source: Social Traders

Have an idea to set up a project or business that will benefit your community? Are you already running a social business or community enterprise and need help to make it sustainable? Need a combination of personal support and business skills development to move your project or business forward? Want to be part of a vibrant community of like-minded people working to create change?

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) runs a nine month action learning program for entrepreneurial individuals with ideas or businesses that have a community benefit.

The next Melbourne program starts 22 August 2011 and applications are due 31 May.

Refer to the SSE website for detailed information about the program, the learning approach and frequently asked questions.

Establishing an Australian Community Recycling Network

Posted in Movements, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on October 14th, 2010

Source: Social Traders

© Outlook Environmental

As a consequence of attending the 2nd Social Enterprise World Forum in Melbourne organised by Social Ventures Australia and Social Traders, a group of organisations from around Australia who operate Recycling Enterprises decided to form a National Network.  There were people at the World Forum from New Zealand and Scotland who had already formed Community Recycling Networks in their countries. They encouraged us to establish an Australian Network. An interim committee has been formed with a National Day planned for November 19th 2010 in Melbourne.

The interim Committee consists of:

  • Greg Poultney, Convenor, Steps Disability, Queensland
  • Peter Cox, Secretary, FEO, Bendigo
  • Anita Saunders, Member, Finding Workable Solutions, South Australia
  • Rob Dobin, Member, Outlook Environmental, Melbourne
  • Alison Perizi, Member, Renewable Recyclers, Wollongong
  • Susie Bowman, Member, Social Firms Australia
  • Mark Daniels, Member, Social Traders
  • Andy Vagg, Resource Work Cooperative, Hobart

The Committee believes that there is great potential for communities to learn from one another to use waste as a resource to create jobs, reduce waste and as a result strengthen inclusion for all.

As it is a National Network, technology will play an important role in getting information out, but it will be up to the participating groups and individuals to share their experiences and skills.  There are now over 50 Recycling Enterprises throughout Australia, perhaps there are many more. All are experiencing great results. There are many different models of operation. There are no set rules.  The CRNA Committee encourages you to get cracking in your community. Job Seekers and the environment will benefit.

Visit the website to get involved.

Investing in Alternative Economic Futures: Lecture

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on April 7th, 2010

Source: Social Traders

‘INVESTING IN ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC FUTURES’  The Inaugural Social Business Australia (SBA) Lecture Parliament House Canberra, Monday 15 March 2010, delivered by Dame Pauline Green, President International Co­operative Alliance (ICA)

Social Business Australia is a new organisation that was created to assist all forms of social business to develop and grow in the competitive environment of the economy. Social businesses trade or undertake activities for social purpose and apply profit or surpluses for social benefit. They include co-operatives, mutuals, credit unions, employee owned businesses and some social enterprises. Social enterprises have been recognised around the world as effective and sustainable models for delivering long-term positive social impact.

“These governments defend and promote social business as tried and tested solutions for economic, social and environmental problems and, with their support, the social businesses in those countries have been actively developing new ‘co-operative’ structures to bring solutions to 21st century problems, in particular recently in the environmental and energy fields.”

From the lecture, available for download:

Read the rest of this entry »

Bold Ideas, Better Lives: Applications open

Posted in Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on April 5th, 2010

Source: Social Traders

Applications are now open for the Bold Ideas, Better Lives Challenge. So if you’ve got a big idea we’re offering up to $1 million and capacity building partnerships to turn your idea into reality.  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity. Read all about it on our Challenge pages and apply.

We’re committed to supporting up to 10 projects that show the best and brightest ideas in social innovation across Australia. Your idea could deal with anything from healthcare to climate change, unemployment to the internet as long as it addresses a social need faced by communities in Australia.

The Bold Ideas, Better Lives Challenge is open to just about anyone – you could be an individual, a group of friends, an organisation, a private company – from anywhere in the world, as long as your idea addresses a social need faced by communities in Australia we want to hear from you.

So don’t keep your ideas to yourselves – set them to work to make our world a better place.

Visit the website for more details.