We are drawn to working with people who do amazing things. They are the type of people who, even if they don’t know it yet, are amazing leaders.
The closer we look at each of these leaders, the more we see one common factor that powers their success.
They have a ‘why’ that is bigger than themselves.
When the reason you start a project or enterprise is bigger than yourself, you inevitably start doing something that betters others.
They create a space where everybody thrives. They create a culture and a community that dismisses ego and gives people permission to thrive through self-expression.
Amazing leaders have made the decision to build a life about something that is much greater than themselves.
They could do this in small ways or on a global scale.
The Big Why Leaders Fuelling the Rise of Social Enterprise
This style of leadership, enterprise and entrepreneurialism is growing rapidly in our world.
It is the rise of social enterprise.
Edible disposable cutlery, certified organic snack foods for Aussie kids and disposable coffee cups that grow into plants – simple ideas that are literally changing the world for the better.
Even in 2010 there were an estimated 20,000 social enterprises in Australia. That number had grown by 37% in the past 5 years.*
The Not For Profit sector generated 39% of its income through social enterprise, equating to $22 billion every year in Australia.*
So what are social enterprises doing in Australia?
They recognise issues that threaten the long-term sustainability of the country or indeed the planet then employ a blend of traditional capitalism and innovative new business models to solve them.
At the lower scale of social enterprise we are starting to see more and more for-profit businesses establish a social venture or charitable arm that addresses an element of their vision and values.
* Finding Australia’s Social Enterprise Sector (FASES)
They Love to Play Together
Look at Australian social enterprise and you’ll find stunning examples of innovative hubs.
You’ll also see high impact collaborations with councils and governments.
And finally communities of like-minded world changers are teaming up everywhere.
Perhaps being driven by a why much bigger than yourself means there is less ego and ulterior motive to sabotage productive partnerships.
Perhaps when your why is much bigger than yourself and you can see that what you are doing is changing your community, country and the world.
That kind of positive change can be addictive, making you only want to work with partners and suppliers who do the same.
Connections Every Social Enterprise Should Make
If you’re a social enterprise or starting to listen to the bigger why inside you that’s telling you, you can make a change, here is our list of connections you should make.
B Corporation (www.bcorporation.com.au) – a community of companies across Australia and New Zealand that are using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Offers accreditation in top level social enterprise operation.
Social Traders Australia (www.socialtraders.com.au) – a specialist social enterprise development organisation dedicated to supporting the development of sustainable social enterprises that are driven to solve social, cultural, economic and environmental problems.
Conscious Capitalism (www.consciouscapitalism.org.au) – part of a global movement supporting forward-thinking leaders who want to reframe the way they do business.
Social Enterprise Awards (www.socialenterpriseawards.com.au) – recognises and celebrates excellence in Australian social enterprises. Wonderful inspiration.
Sustainable Brands (www.sustainablebrands.com) – home to a global community of business innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide.
School for Social Entrepreneurs (www.sse.org.au) – the school runs learning programs across Australia for people from all backgrounds that have an idea or business with a community benefit.
Social Ventures Australia (www.socialventures.com.au) – works with partners across Australia to better the lives of those in need. They focus on keys to overcoming disadvantage in Australia, including great education, sustainable jobs, stable housing and appropriate health, disability and community services by offering funding, investment.
Queensland Social Enterprise Council (www.qsec.org.au) – exists to support the development of a vibrant, innovative and capable social enterprise sector in Queensland that is sufficiently resourced and supported to achieve high social, cultural and environmental impact.
Brisbane Social Enterprise Meetup (www.meetup.com/The-Brisbane-Social-Enterprise-Meet-up-Group/) – This Meetup Group is run by the peak body, The Queensland Social Enterprise Council, which is a democratically representative organisation promoting social enterprise in Queensland.
This month’s focus on social enterprise will see us look into how to craft your story from your why.
And how to use your story to grow your social enterprise bigger and brighter.