Centre for Social Impact Swinburne

Transcript - Dr Erin Castellas' webinar on Map for Impact

Thanks, everyone, for joining tonight. My name is Dr. Erin Castellas, and I'm a Research Fellow at the Center for Social Impact. We'll be talking about a project we led last year, late in 2017, called Map for Impact-- The Victorian Social Enterprise Mapping Project. And this was commissioned by the Victorian State Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport, and Resources.

So again, just any housekeeping. If you would like to chime in with a question, you can use the chat box to type up a question, and I'll try and pay attention to that. And if you want to unmute yourself to ask a question, you can do that. And I'll have some time for questions at the end. But otherwise, please stay on mute. And if you are able to, please turn off your video cameras so we can have less distraction on the screen. I'll turn off a few videos now.

So just a little bit about the project. Before I get started, I want to acknowledge that we had a huge project team. So this was a really big undertaking in a very short amount of time. Some of our project team is on the call tonight, including Dr. Kiros Hiruy, our Project Data Analysis Manager. So if you have questions for Kiros, he's on the call.

But we had quite a small army of people working to get this done. And I just did want to acknowledge the number of people that have participated in making this project a success. We also have some of our data and promotion partners on the call tonight, and we wanted to say thank you to those of you who shared your databases with us and made some connections that we were able to identify more social enterprises. I also want to acknowledge our industry reference group. We tried to have a sample of social entrepreneurs and intermediaries, both regional and metropolitan, design our research project, as well as our findings to make those practice-based.

So a little bit about the project. Map for Impact was commissioned by the Victorian Government, as I said, by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport, and Resources. And the objectives of the project were first to understand how many social enterprises there were in the state of Victoria, a little bit about their characteristics, what industries they're operating in, the beneficiaries they're [INAUDIBLE], some of their employment characteristics, and so on. And then the second part of this was to inform the Victorian Government social enterprise strategy. And they were really interested in understanding some of the social and economic impacts, and particularly relating to employment participation for particular groups.

So a little bit about what we did for this project. Let's just start out with the concept of how we approach social enterprise. So we adopted a definition that was developed by Professor Jo Barraket and was adopted by the Victorian Government in their social enterprise strategy, which basically says that social enterprises are organizations that are led by a social, environmental, or cultural mission that is consistent with creating a public or community benefit, that they derive a substantial portion of their income from trade as opposed to grants or donations, and that they reinvest the majority of their profits or surpluses in the fulfillment of their mission. As you can imagine, doing some desktop research, it was often difficult to determine how much orientation they had towards public versus private benefit and how much income they were generating from trade versus donations. So we tried to do our best approximation and place organizations that were in that orange square in that upper right corner in the database and excluded those that were more oriented towards private benefit or generating donations and grants.

So how we went about this project was we had--

I can't get the sound to work, so I'm just looking at slides on screen.

Sorry, if you can just keep yourselves on mute, that would be great.

So we undertook a big data mining exercise doing desktop research. We looked at particular categories where we knew there would be a lot of social enterprises. For example, we looked at credit unions, community energy organizations, not-for-profit aged care organizations. And where possible, we tried to identify a promotion partner or an intermediary in that sector to see if they had any lists or databases that they were able to share with us. And we would then vet those lists or databases against our definition and inclusion criteria.

We also uncovered organizations just through identifying individual organizations. And then we created a map online that was interactive, so social enterprises could put themselves on the map.

And again, we would vet those organizations with the same criteria and release them onto the map. We then conducted a survey to explore more about the employment characteristics and the economic and social impacts, and we had an 11% response rate, which is a fantastic response rate. And that's statistically significant enough to allow us to generalize our findings to the broader social enterprise population across the state.

So how many social enterprises did we find across the state? We found 3,500, and I would say that this is a highly conservative estimate. And we wanted to err on the side of conservatism so that we could say with certainty that the impacts that they were having was a baseline and it was a minimum, rather that overreach for the number of jobs or economic impact that they were having. It was a minimum estimate as well because we know that we couldn't uncover every single category and every single organization out there. So we felt very confident that those we identified fit into this. And we could confidently say that at a minimum there are 3,500 as of late 2017 and growing every day.

So where are the social enterprises across the state? You can see that nearly 60% of enterprises are located in metropolitan Melbourne, and then the remainder of the 43% are spread across the regions of Victoria quite evenly. We know that Melbourne has a higher population than the rest of the state, so we also looked at enterprises on a per capita basis to see the concentration of enterprises. And we still found that Melbourne had the highest per capita concentration of social enterprises, with 3.2 enterprises per 1,000 residents.

One of the outputs of this project was to create an interactive map, which is on our website, mapforimpact.com.au. When you go to the home page, you'll see this kind of heat sensor map, and here's the website here. So each little yellow dot here represents an individual enterprise location. And if you click on that, it will bring up the name, the address, and the industry that it operates in.

You can zoom in to the map, and you can see when there are more enterprises. They sort of get darker. They get orange and then red when you have a whole bunch of enterprises overlaid on top of each other. And if you want to search by geography, you can search by LGA. So say you're interested only in social enterprises operating in yellow.

You can click on that LGA, local government authority, and we can zoom in to that particular region and see the enterprises in that particular geographic community. And if you wanted to look even further and screen particular industries that they're operating in-- so say, for example, health and social assistance-- it will screen out all of the other enterprises. And you'll see that there are 31 health and social assistance enterprises operating in [INAUDIBLE].

So this is a cool little map that we were able to develop using CartoDB software. And if you're interested in a little bit more information on this project than what I'm going through tonight, you can go to the website and explore some of the maps that we have on here. The full report as well is on the website.

So I'll take you through some of the key findings now. So in terms of the population, the 3,500 social enterprises that we found, we found there was quite a bit of diversity in that population. And first by life stage, we looked at how old the enterprises were, how long they've been established. And we can see that just over half, 53%, are less than 10 years, suggesting there's quite a vibrant and growing number of enterprises.

If you look at some of the statistics, the average age of social enterprises [INAUDIBLE]-- whoops, there we go-- is 19 years. And the median age is 10 years. And what that means is that about one in 20-- or sorry, one in five organizations, or about 20%, were quite mature and they've been operating for over 30 years. So you see that there's a large percentage of social enterprises there more than 30 years old and then a number of young startups as well.

Interestingly, one of the things that we saw was that the younger enterprises tend to be concentrated in metropolitan Melbourne, whereas the more established enterprises tend to be in regional areas of Victoria. In terms of industry, we also see quite a diversity in the industries that these enterprises are operating in. And if you look at the Australia/New Zealand industry classification system, social enterprise in Victoria hit every single industry category.

So we see them operating across the board in things like finance and insurance, education, property and business services, transport, manufacturing, storage, all sorts of industries. And the highest concentration by industry, so 29%, were operating in what's termed cultural and recreational services. So if you think about, for example, community arts organizations or community radio organizations, community sports clubs, surf lifesaving clubs, Neighborhood Houses, they would all fit into this category of cultural and recreational services.

In terms of economic impact, the government loved this figure here that we show that Victorian social enterprises are, at a minimum, $5.2 billion in economic impact to the Victorian economy. And this is calculated based on gross output, which is a measure of total economic productivity based on the production of goods and services. And it's based on operating and capital expenditure.

And in terms of their contribution to the economy from an employment perspective-- so this was one of the reasons that we conducted this study, was to really understand the types, the number and the types of jobs and employment statistics that social enterprises are contributing to the economy. So we found that the Victorian social enterprises are creating jobs for 60,000 individuals, which is nearly 2% of the state's workforce. And again, we know this is a conservative estimate. In addition, they're creating 42,000 volunteer opportunities. So for many people that are marginalized from the mainstream workforce, those opportunities to engage in their communities through volunteerism is also an important component of social inclusion and participation and potentially pathways to employment as well.

I want to note that this number of 60,000 doesn't include employee traineeships or pathways to employment. So we weren't able to measure that in this particular study, but we know that most employment-focused social enterprises also provide traineeships as part of their efforts to create those pathways to employment for people who are facing barriers to work. And our anecdotal evidence we have from consulting with the social enterprises who participated is that some individual enterprises are producing up to 300 traineeships per year, so quite substantial. And I'll go through some of the demographics of the workforce now.

So a large proportion of social enterprise workers are from marginalized, or what we consider marginalized, social groups. So 12,000 of those 60,000 jobs are employing people with a disability. And to put that in perspective, the mainstream small- and medium-sized enterprise sector in Victoria, the workforce is comprised of about 10% of people living with a disability, whereas in the social enterprise sector it's double that. So we're looking at about 20% of jobs are for people living with a disability.

Social enterprises in Victoria are also creating about 4,000 jobs for long-term unemployed people-- so this is people who've been unemployed for 12 months or more-- and nearly 1,000 jobs for indigenous Australians. Again, all of these numbers are not only under-reported because of the number of enterprises being under-reported, but also because many of the enterprises tell us they aren't tracking these statistics at this point. So they couldn't tell us how many of their families may be living with particular disabilities or how many may be indigenous Australians. They're not tracking those kinds of numbers.

I also want to mention-- I don't have a statistic up here-- but 50% of social enterprises are led by women. So this includes women in management and executive roles, which is nearly double the rates of the mainstream population. And in social enterprises, the directorships are held by 31% women, as opposed to in the mainstream economy, which is about 23%.

In terms of where social enterprises are generating their revenue, so in terms of looking at the split between selling products wholesale and retail or services, we see that 70% of enterprises are selling services for a fee. So if you think about child care, aged care, social assistance kind of programs, those all fit into that service provision category.

In terms of the breakdown of where they're trading, where that portion today is taking place, we see that 80% of the commercial trade is taking place within the state of Victoria itself. And of that 80%, another further 80%, if that, is taking place within metropolitan Melbourne. So you see the majority of trade is taking place in the heart of the city, in Melbourne and Victoria. But we also saw that nearly 1/3 of social enterprises are exporting.

So this is actually commensurate with the mainstream economy. So about 30% or so of small/medium enterprises in Victoria also export overseas. And of those that do export, the majority are trading in Asia-Pacific followed by Oceania ex Australia. And examples of some of the enterprises that are exporting overseas include education, export businesses, consulting services, artist collectives exploiting art and cultural products, and so on.

And then we wanted to know where they're delivering their social impact. So we know that they're trading mostly in Victoria, and of that mostly Melbourne. But in terms of where they're focusing on addressing the social issues, about, again, 80% of that was focused in the state of Victoria, which isn't surprising to us, that they're training and addressing issues often at the same time. And again, about 70% of that 80% was focused on addressing issues in metropolitan Melbourne.

We looked at some of the different strategies of enterprises, and we see that the majority of impact strategies are really taking a place-based approach. So that's about taking a particular geographic community and addressing a social issue in that community. And if you look at some of the name brands and types of organizations up here, you'll get a sense of why and how impact is often placebased in social enterprises.

We then asked the enterprises what the biggest opportunities were for growth of their sector, and 3/4 of them said that the biggest opportunity for growth was social procurement. And for those of you who are really interested in this, you might want to take a look the Victorian Government's recently released social procurement framework. After social procurement, some of the other opportunities they cited were access to development and training opportunities, access to appropriate and affordable finance, particularly in the early stages, and also support with developing accessible and comparable social impact measurement tools.

We asked them about their biggest challenges. Their biggest challenge, they decided, was marketing and resources for marketing. So many of them said we just don't have enough time, we don't have enough resources to devote to marketing.

And related to that, they also said that they didn't have enough resources to let their customers know about social value that they were creating. They had limited capacity to invest in various development and growth opportunities. They said that they were highly undercapitalized and that the customers, they felt, were underestimating the quality of their work. And all of these things, they felt, related back to being undercapitalized and having insufficient resources.

So that's it in terms of an overview of the project. In sum, we are really proud of this project. We think we took a really detailed and rigorous, data-driven approach to identifying who is in the social enterprise population in Victoria and really doing those very single accounts to get to the population numbers we did. We can see that they are significant employers and particularly creating employment opportunities for particular groups that are often marginalized from the mainstream workforce.

We know that social enterprises are highly diverse. And so if we want to focus on something like employment pathways, we can't talk about necessarily all social enterprises as a whole, and we need to look at specific model models like work-integrated social enterprises, for example, and really dive a little bit deeper into particular models or impact focuses. We know that there is a notable need to build some support and capacity for impact measurement and provide that early stage capital as well. And there's lots of opportunities to support those early stage enterprises that are coming into the market, as well as the later stage enterprises that are mature and still looking for that support. And certainly opportunities for a more coordinated approach.

So that's all I have, to give you an overview. As I said, our website is there. So if you're interested in the interactive map or if you're interested in more figures or the full report, that is on the website. And this recording will be available, which we can send to you as well. At this stage, I'm happy to-- if you want to unmute yourselves, you can chime in and ask a question or on the chat, which I'm trying to open at the moment.

Sorry. I'm just getting from Karina-- I'm sorry, I don't know when you typed this-- you can't hear. So it might just be the volume levels on your computer.

Does anybody else have a question that they'd like to ask about the project? You can unmute, or you can type in the chatbox. I should also just-- oh, we've got some questions coming in.

"Hi, Erin. Did you include indigenous businesses?" Hi, Jess. We did look at-- we didn't exclude indigenous-owned businesses. They weren't a particular focus for us, but we definitely had a number of social enterprises that were indigenous-owned or focused on supporting indigenous beneficiaries.

Anu asks, "What's the driver of this project?" So the project was commissioned by the Victorian Government, and it was under their Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport, and Resources. And one of the biggest drivers was to understand how to inform the Victorian Government social enterprise strategy, and the starting point was to map a baseline.

So it's hard to create a strategy if you don't know who's in the market and how they're operating, what their economic impacts are, what some of their social impacts are. So this was really to create a good baseline for the government to understand how to support the growth sector and some of the impacts they were having. But additionally, as we were doing consultations with industry, we could see that there were some benefits for social enterprises themselves to be able to connect with one another and find each other in a particular geographic community or to create communities of practice and connect with others in their own industry. So lots of different people that we think can benefit from the interactive map and the database by understanding who the social enterprises are and how they're operating.

Will the video be on our website? I think we will probably-- we'll send it out to all of the participants, but I think we will put it on the Map for Impact website, I'm guessing.

Someone asks, "Is there any scope to map other states in the future?" I think there's been some discussion in New South Wales about doing some mapping work there, and we're in touch with few partners who are interested in doing what. I think it's a matter of finding their resources to support this kind of work. As I mentioned, the desktop research and data mining is a huge, huge amount of time and effort to identify all of the enterprises on the ground, and then the survey itself to make sure we get participation and engagement and then can analyze those results. It just takes someone to want to partner with us to do that.

"Any out-of-the-box surprises in the project?" That's an interesting question. I don't know if Kiros wants to chime in with any out-of-the-box surprises.

I mean, for me, I found it really interesting that there was a lot of female leadership. That wasn't necessarily something that we were looking for. But for me to say there are twice as many women in management and executive positions in social enterprises as opposed to the mainstream economy, I found that to be really interesting.

And the other thing is just we didn't have the baseline data before, so in some ways, it's all really interesting. It's how many jobs for particular groups are being created and how many enterprises. So for me, all of that was a surprise, but I don't know if there's anything else that Kiros wants to chime in on, or if anyone else has input on what they found particularly surprising.

OK, I think we're getting to the end of our time. For those of you who are interested, the website is there. And feel free to get in touch with me. I'm happy to have a further chat with you about any questions that you have offline.

And we will wrap it up from there. Thank you so much, everybody.