Briefing paper

Social enterprises are organisations that aim to create positive social or environmental impacts through commercial activity. These impacts include economic and social benefits delivered in financially sustainable ways.

Many social enterprises support inclusive employment by providing opportunities for people facing barriers to economic participation, such as people with disability, migrants or those recently released from prison. Other social enterprises devote a proportion of profits to addressing social problems, such as homelessness.

Australia’s social enterprise sector has been expanding but is currently limited by an ineffective and underdeveloped entrepreneurial ecosystem. The social entrepreneurial ecosystem needs to better support social enterprise to sustainably address deeply entrenched social problems, such as long-term unemployment and inequitable access to services.

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