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October 6, 2021

Social enterprise in SA: Profit with a purpose

Matthew Wright-Simon, a board member of the newly established South Australian Social Enterprise Council, explains what social enterprise is all about and why the business model is becoming so popular.

  • Words: Matthew Wright-Simon
  • Above: The Foodprint Experience. Credit: Tony Lewis
  • This article was produced in collaboration with the South Australian Social Enterprise Council.

Profit matters in every business. If a business is on a mission to maximise profit, sharing the benefit beyond the business founders, employees and shareholders may not be a priority.

More tellingly, the hidden costs of doing business – the social and environmental impacts – are rarely factored into the enterprise model.

This is why social enterprises are so important. Unlike profit-driven businesses, or charities that depend entirely on government funding or fundraising, social enterprise provides an option that combines the best of both worlds.


Learn more about social enterprise at the South Australian Social Enterprise Council website, and consider joining as a member to be part of a community of business-minded people with a passion for profit with purpose.

This article was produced in collaboration with the South Australian Social Enterprise Council.

Social enterprise is about commercially viable businesses generating income and creating jobs to respond to entrenched social or environmental issues.

In fact, many social enterprises are intentionally designed to respond to the wicked problems and inequities that are a consequence of ‘business as usual’.

The South Australian Social Enterprise Council (SASEC) supports more than 60 member organisations representing a workforce of some 310 employees and 260 volunteers.

Visualisation adds to and simplifies elements of a model published in 2015 by J Kingston Venturesome, CAF Venturesome and European Venture Philanthropy Association 2015.


Social enterprise sector growth is accelerating in Australia. SASEC’s formation brings South Australia into alignment with other state-based peak organisations that form the Alliance of Social Enterprise Networks Australia.

Globally, social enterprise is bringing together international governments, NGOs, industry groups and, of course, diverse communities. Each year, leaders in the global social enterprise community gather online for the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF), with Nova Scotia, Canada hosting this year.

Next year is generating extra excitement here in Australia, as Brisbane (with plenty of help from its interstate friends) won its bid to host the 2022 SEWF in Queensland next September.

With international borders opening up, the 2022 forum promises enormous opportunity for the Australian community and its social enterprises to engage with some of the world’s most exciting businesses and institutions. Satellite events are in planning for the months leading up to the forum, with Adelaide playing host to an education-focussed forum in autumn 2022, with details to be announced in the new year.

The inaugural elected board of SASEC is busy growing its membership. (It’s only $20 to join as a social enterprise or as an associate member.)

Work continues to forge partnerships across the public, private and community sectors to enrich and generally make life easier for social entrepreneurs, from one-person startups to nationally and internationally active organisations.


Meet the SASEC Board Members

Theresa Brown
Play It On


Monique Russell
Blend Creative


Eddie Blass
The Inventorium


Matthew Wright-Simon
Double Denim


Carmen Garcia
Community Corporate


Paul Mayers
Mayers Consulting


Lisa Hill
Impact Coaching and Consulting


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