Centre for Social Impact Swinburne

Growing the community sector in Western Australia

Supporting development and growth in the community sector Western Australia

The definition of social enterprise is still subject to some debate. The Western Australian government draws its definition from research by Professor Barraket.

Social enterprises are organisations that exist to fulfil a mission consistent with public or community benefit, trade to fulfil that mission, and reinvest a substantial proportion of their profit or surplus in the fulfilment of the mission (Barraket et al. 2010).

An environment for the growth of social enterprises is influenced by these three factors:

  • Contemporary approaches to social service deliver
  • Growing consumer demands for ethical business
  • New social challenges created by global economic trends

There are increasing opportunities for social enterprises. Equally, there are increasing demands. This raises questions about the capacity of a social enterprise to maintain the business sustainability necessary to deliver on social objectives. The purpose of our study is to improve the financial resilience of social enterprises in Western Australia and beyond.

Our research investigates a better understanding of social enterprise needs and behaviours to access financial and other resources.

Project timeframe

2014 - 2019