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Social Change Champion: Mike Davis

We sat down with Mike Davis, Founding Director at Purposeful, to learn more about how he is empowering businesses to form stronger community connections and embark on social impact programs, strategies and initiatives.


What is your social enterprise elevator pitch?

Purposeful is a social impact advisory, empowering organisations to integrate purpose and create social impact. We help organisations to create and leverage change through social impact programs and sustainability reporting, measurement and communication. Our aim is to help create the workplaces of the future that can promote wellbeing, purpose, altruism and allow young people to flourish.

What are your biggest personal and/or professional challenges as a social entrepreneur in Australia?

Connecting with the right sort of opportunities and community can be difficult. We’ve had great help getting started, from the B Corp community and Social Change Central. Other challenges can be around building your networks, developing a strong business strategy and value proposition. Getting the balance right between what you are great at, what you love doing and what the market needs is key to sustainable growth.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received so far since starting your own social enterprise?

Building a successful startup is about taking the time to make sure you are asking the right questions. Spending enough time working through this will help you lay the foundations of a strong growth strategy.

If you were to start over, is there anything you would do differently?

I would start with a team of people, rather than wait 5 months to grow to more than one person! Having a team of great people around me has helped me to make better decisions and to direct me to new emerging opportunities. It has also allowed me to stay focused on the big picture and not get lost in details of every element of the business.

Where do you see the future of social enterprise in Australia?

Social enterprise in Australia is growing all the time and is a real hub of global best practice. I think social enterprise is a great example of how doing good and doing well are not mutually exclusive. I expect to see many more ‘purpose driven businesses’ to emerge in Australia, drawing from the example of strong social enterprises. These businesses are likely to move toward better social impact and sustainability practices, measurement and narratives. I would also expect to see more social enterprises partner with government, businesses and not for profits to embark on aligned purpose or impact oriented projects or partnerships.

What appeals most to you about Social Change Central?

Social Change Central plays an important role in the social enterprise community, by providing a central shared space for social entrepreneurs to find and create communal opportunities. It’s great to be part of a community that is geared towards mutually beneficial growth and a common purpose to grow social enterprise in Australia.

The Social Change Central changemaker community is growing at a fast rate. How can our members learn more about you and help support your organisation (e.g. are you looking for funding, PR, marketing support, volunteers, interns)?

Purposeful has grown from a team of 1 to 4 in the past 2 months. With the launch of our Humans of Purpose podcast, produced in partnership with TANK we expect this to continue. Members can learn more about us at purposeful.com.au and at humansofpurpose.com.au for the podcast. We would welcome any PR assistance for growing Purposeful and our podcast. We are always on the lookout for talented young people to help us grow. In particular, we are looking to recruit a trainee to assist with business development. We would also be open to the right kind of aligned funding opportunities.

And finally, what would you do if you found a lottery ticket that ended up winning $10 million?

I recently read in some US studies, that major lottery winners are amongst the unhappiest people in the world after 1 year. So I would give $9m away to Effective Altruism, and use the remaining $1m to grow Purposeful!


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