Victoria takes the lead with Australia's first ever Social Enterprise strategy

Published: 9 March 2017

The Victorian Government's strategy for social enterprise, aimed at strengthening and creating more social, economic and employment opportunities for disadvantaged Victorians was launched recently.

The Social Enterprise Strategy is the first-of-its-kind in Australia and was launched at the Yarra View Nursery in Mount Evelyn, a social enterprise that's supplying plants for the re-vegetation of the Bayswater Level Crossing Removal Project.

The strategy focuses on three areas of action including increasing impact and innovation; building business capacity; and improving market access. It was developed after consultations with more than 160 of Victoria's social enterprises and stakeholders.

To implement the initiatives outlined in the strategy, funding of $5 million has been allocated to go towards establishing a state-wide social enterprise network, sector research and modelling, a feasibility study for online skills development and growth training for social enterprises.

A social procurement framework is also being developed to open more government contracts to purchasing goods and services from social enterprises.

More information about the Social Enterprise Strategy is available from our website and from the following video.

Video Transcript

Victorian Social Enterprise Strategy Launch

[Title:  Victorian Social Enterprise Network - Victoria State Government]

[Vision:  Nursery workers tending plants]

Kristian Dauncey - Chief Executive Officer - Knoxbrooke Incorporated

Yarra View Nursery wishes to acknowledge the State Government's commitment to social procurement.

[Vision:  Nursery employees working with seedlings and talking with Wade Noonan]

By launching Australia's first State Government Social Procurement Strategy, Victoria really is leading the way in demonstrating an understanding of the deep impact that social enterprises have in our community.

Wade Noonan - Minister for Industry & Employment

Last year we consulted extensively across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

[Vision:  Wade Noonan speaking with nursery employees]

We know Victoria is a leader in social enterprise.

[Vision:  Nursery employee working with plants]

We know that we have about 5,000 social enterprises here, including this fantastic and inspiring Yarra View Nursery.

[Vision:  Aerial view of Bayswater construction site - time lapse of night and day work]

We were able to connect them into some of our big infrastructure projects like the Bayswater Level Crossing Removal Project.

[Vision:  Aerial view of trains and construction site - plants]

And they are producing plants for those Level Crossing Removal Projects.

[Vision:  Nursery employee and plants]

Gavin Cotto - Senior Project Manager - Bayswater Level Crossing Removal Project

We've engaged Yarra View Nursery to supply about 60,000 plants for our project.

[Vision:  Aerial view of railway corridor]

They offer a great product that we're going to use on the station forecourt, we're going to use it along the railway corridor, and it's going to look fantastic for the finished product.

Sophie McGill - Employee, Yarra View Nursery

I do the fern section at the moment.  It's nice working outdoors and working with this group of people because they're really nice people.

Jonathan Barkley - Employee, Yarra View Nursery

[Vision:  Wade Noonan looking at pot plant]

I do propagation.  I do the cutting material.  I also do the seeds.  I do the potting as well in certain other areas.

[Vision:  Nursery employees working with pots]

And, it's great.  It's really good.  You learn skills so it's really good.

[Vision:  Wade Noonan talking with people - Wade Noonan speaking]

We know that we want to build capacity, but what we actually haven't had to this point is a strategy to build on the great work that is going on.

[Vision:  Close up of pots]

That's what our Strategy actually now allows us to do.

[Vision:  Nursery employee]

It allows us to focus on innovation, research.

[Vision:  Nursery employees working in garden and with pots]

It allows us to build the capacity and training.

[Vision:  Tractor]

We know a great nursery like this, also very much builds in the training component, to upskill workers and give them an opportunity to spread their wings so to speak.

[Vision:  Various types of plants in pots - employees working with pots - Wade Noonan shaking hands and speaking with employees.

And finally, we know that through our Strategy we want to open up markets and allow social enterprises to be able to generate new work and grow their workforce.  All of those things form part of the Strategy.

[Wade Noonan speaking - People posing for photo with Wade Noonan]

And I'm very pleased to announce today on behalf of the Government, that we will make an initial $5 million contribution to bring this Strategy to life, to ensure that the initiatives that are contained in the Strategy that we are launching today, can actually happen.

[Victoria State Government]

[Speaker:  Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne]