Founded in London in 1997, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) is one of the world's leading social enterprise development organisations. A charity that supports people using entrepreneurial approaches to tackle complex social problems, SSE has supported the development of over 2,000 enterprises in five countries.
SSE Australia was one of the first intermediaries in the social enterprise sector in Australia, alongside Social Traders. Since its establishment in 2009, SSE Australia has supported over 450 social entrepreneurs to be more effective changemakers.
In late 2016, after eight years of operation, SSE Australia bowed out of the Australian market. This article shares some of the insights and learnings about operating in the sector that will hopefully support the social enterprise ecosystem to become stronger.
Insights include the importance of knowing the market and the broader context that the SE is operating in, staying agile and focused on the needs of the clients that the SE serves, and demonstrating the economic and social value that the sector and individual organisations bring.