• Andrew Hamilton

The Challenge with Social Enterprise

While the concept of a social enterprise may be attractive to a For Purpose organisation, the reality is more difficult. The challenge is how to create a social enterprise which delivers on two objectives; supporting mission and achieving financial sustainability.


The sector has a history of wonderful purpose driven business ideas that were unable to be commercially sustainable. With this in mind, Social Scaffolding partnered with The Centre For Social Purpose in organising a Roundtable to gain insights and practical ideas on how to create and develop a social enterprise which delivers social outcomes and is self-sufficient.


The whole team participated in this roundtable, drawing on the depth of experience we have as an organisation in social enterprise ideation, start-up, growth and impact.


This has resulted in a white paper where the focus draws upon the Roundtable outputs to seek answers to two key questions:

  • How to assess whether a social enterprise is a fit for your organisation?

  • How to create a financially sustainable social enterprise that supports the organisation’s purpose?

The big takeaways for me was the dedication and commitment required to succeed in this market. Indicative of this commitment, is that each of the panellists had more than seven years’ experience working in their social enterprise.

There is a depth of experience and learnings in the sector - so extremely important this learning is shared and lessons adopted by newcomers. Social enterprise is no overnight success, and it takes years of personal and organisational commitment to succeed. But the rewards are significant. The paper makes for informative reading, with a big thanks to the panellists that shared their experiences for all to learn from: Alan White CFRE - Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Troy Crellin - Mission Australia Mick Cronin - YMCA Victoria Sarai Tuuga - yourtown


View our Social Enterprise Key Success Factors Whitepaper: