The Australian Social Enterprise (SE) Awards are now talking applications, with categories recognising both social enterprises and those buying from or investing in the sector.
For those who haven’t grasped the social enterprise concept, the Foundation for Young Australians defines it as “a business venture where social purpose is the principal driver and is achieved in full, or in part, through enterprise activity”. Rather than maximising private profit, social entrepreneurs embrace the philosophy that ‘we can change the world by changing the way we do business’.
The SE Awards will showcase organisations operating across all sectors of the economy that are led by an economic, social, cultural, or environmental mission delivering public or community benefit. The purpose of the awards is not only to recognise the efforts organisations working towards alleviating some of the most difficult challenges facing communities around the world, but also to celebrate the breath of the talent and innovative thinking behind their development.
The Awards have been expanded in 2014 to pay tribute to the best institutional buyer and the best investor deal in the Australian social enterprise sector. These new categories aims to shine a spotlight on those working the market for good and breaking down the barriers between business and community to grow a more responsible form of capitalism.
Last year’s social enterprise winners included STREAT for their innovative financing model which enabled them to acquire another social enterprise café chain; Thankyou Water, who have cracked the major supermarkets in Australia to get their products in every major food retailer in the country; Great Lakes Resource Recovery who have been creating employment out of waste for the Tuncurry community for 21 years; and Connecting Up who have saved the NFP sector over $50 million through their discounted software sales.
“It’s been fantastic to see the awards bring recognition to the social enterprise space and raise the profile of the sector in Australia. For us as an organisation, winning the Youth-Led Social Enterprise of the Year award last year has really helped in boosting the credibility of our organisation, which has led to new and exciting opportunities in a range of different areas,” said Dan Flynn, Co-Founder of Thankyou Water and winner 2013 Youth-led Social Enterprise of the Year, in the media release.
Leading the Awards presentations in June will be Nancy Neamtan, who is the President and Executive Director of the Chantier de l’économie sociale, a non-for-profit organisation administered by 28 representatives of various networks of social enterprises, local development organisations and social movements.
1. Australian Social Enterprise of the Year – Small
2. Australian Social Enterprise of the Year – Large
3. One to Watch Award
4. Social Investment Award
5. Social Enterprise Innovation Award
6. ‘Buy Social’ Award
Applications are open from 11 February to 28 March.
The shortlist will be announced at the end of April.
The Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 12 June.
For more information on how to apply, visit www.socialenterpriseawards.com.au.