Social enterprises in Queensland

Social enterprises are businesses guided by a social purpose. They exist to benefit the public, community and environment rather than just shareholders and owners, reinvesting most of their profits for this purpose.

Social enterprises often employ higher numbers of disadvantaged job seekers than traditional businesses.

Social enterprise industry snapshot

Social enterprises work across almost every industry sector. They include small, medium and large businesses, with most operating as small businesses. Over 60% of social enterprises in Queensland operate in 4 key sectors:

  • Health care and social assistance – 19.2%
  • Administrative and support services – 18.4%
  • Arts and recreational services – 13.0%
  • Accommodation and food services – 12.6%.

Queensland Social Enterprise Strategy

If you operate, or are intending to operate, a social enterprise, you may benefit from actions in the Queensland Social Enterprise Strategy.

The strategy outlines 3 key focus areas of targeted support to address the challenges social enterprises face:

  • building capability and capacity in the sector, including access to financial support
  • making connections across the sector to increase collaboration and promotional opportunities
  • improving market access by linking social enterprises to procurement opportunities.

Social Enterprise Jobs Fund

The Social Enterprise Jobs Fund provides support for social enterprises and the ecosystem across 3 key tiers to support the sector to scale-up activities and create training and employment opportunities and increase their social impact. Read more about the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund.

Social enterprise market development

Under the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund, the Queensland Government has committed $660,000 to help more social enterprises supply goods and services to government. This includes working with experts like Social Traders to build the capability of government buyers for social procurement and by extending access to the Social Traders Portal.

Through the Fund, the Queensland Government will also meet the Social Traders certification cost for up to 20 eligible Queensland-based social enterprises that become certified for the first time in 2022–23 through a reimbursement of the $750 Connections membership fee.

Under the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund, The Social Deck, will develop and deliver tailored training and support, including an online tool, to help social enterprises build their capability to identify opportunities, navigate procurement processes, compete for contracts, respond to tenders and grow their business and social impact.

Read more about initiatives delivered as part of the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund.

Social Enterprise World Forum

The Queensland Government provided $100,000 in sponsorship for the Social Enterprise World Forum 2022 that was held in Brisbane on 28–29 September 2022. It provided the opportunity for social enterprises from across Queensland to share their experience and learn from others from around the world.

Queensland Social Enterprise Council

The Queensland Government has extended its agreement with the social enterprise peak body, Queensland Social Enterprise Council (QSEC), to 30 June 2024, through the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund. This will enable QSEC to continue the valuable work they are doing to support the maturity of the social enterprise sector, particularly in regional Queensland.

The Queensland Government has committed an additional $385,000 to QSEC. The investment will help QSEC raise the profile of social enterprises as suppliers to the private sector and for regional hub development activities.

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