Social procurement – using business and government purchasing power to create social value – has tremendous potential for social impact. Procuring goods or services from social enterprises committed to employing and supporting marginalised groups, can create almost immediate change.
However, social procurement is only an opportunity. It needs to be leveraged by entrepreneurial capacity to create a social enterprise that is sustainable and capable of providing lasting social impact.
The experience that Luke Terry has had in Toowoomba – most recently with social enterprise, Vanguard Laundry Services – demonstrates the challenges of leveraging social procurement and how to overcome them.
This article recounts that experience and highlights four requirements to benefit from social procurement:
- Entrepreneurial skill coupled with the motivation for social impact
- Demand driven approach or winning a contract without a business
- Capacity for business development
- The commercial experience to be contract ready.