Social Traders offering free introductory Certification to regional social enterprise
Social Traders is making its Certification service free for regionally based social enterprises, in order to help them win contracts with private business and Government buyers.
Launched in 2018, the Certification service is designed to verify and endorse a social enterprise’s stated social purpose and provide assurance for buyers that the purpose is legitimate.
Managing Director David Brookes said that unlocking the buying power of private sector and Government buyers was proven to the best way to drive social enterprise growth, and the free offering was designed to create commercial opportunities for regional operators.
“The free introductory service offering is designed to encourage participation in the Social Traders marketplace, stimulate growth and boost social impact for regional social enterprises,” Brookes said. “We introduced Certification to make it easier for buyers to work with social enterprises, and we know that it works – our marketplace demonstrates that.”
Since Certification was introduced more than 1600 jobs have been created, along with a range of other community benefits, through $220 million worth of trade between business and Government buyers and around 300 Certified social enterprises.
“We do know that it is a lot harder for regional social enterprises to connect with larger buyers, given there are less of them outside metropolitan areas. But that doesn’t mean opportunities don’t exist for them – we know they do,” Brookes said. “By offering our services to regional social enterprises we’re providing brand endorsement and we hope to encourage greater participation in our buyer engagement activities, without any cost to their operation.”
Brookes said that Certification had helped drive regional social enterprise growth in locations such as Ballarat, Shepparton and Geelong but that these were only scratching the surface.
“There are hundreds of social enterprises growing in regional areas, and many we aren’t even aware of. We’re calling on them to come forward and explore the value of Certification,” Brookes said. “Certification will remain free in areas where we are building the social enterprise marketplace, until those areas are more developed.”
The Certification service will be provided free of charge to eligible social enterprises outside of the Melbourne and Sydney metropolitan areas. Certification will apply for one year for enterprises operating for less than two years, for two years for those in operation for more than two years.