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Social Enterprise & Impact: A Digest of Recent Developments

Navigating the complex world of social enterprise and impact can be daunting, given its many facets – from social innovation and philanthropy to impact investing and not-for-profits. As a busy changemaker, staying updated with the latest developments while juggling daily operations can often feel like an uphill battle.

Understanding this challenge, we’ve curated a bite-sized update filled with the most recent, essential developments and happenings in the impact sector from the past few weeks. We hope this snapshot will save you time and help you keep your finger on the pulse – so you can get back to doing the real, meaningful work.

Events, Celebrations & Awards

World Social Enterprise Day, a global event that shines a spotlight on the incredible work of social entrepreneurs and their supporters, was celebrated on 21 November.

Some of the best and brightest leaders in Australia’s impact investment sector were honoured at the annual Australian Impact Investment Awards hosted by the Impact Investing Hub.

Australia’s first dedicated social enterprise precinct opened at the iconic Queen Victoria Market.

Queensland Social Enterprise Council (QSEC) held its Annual General Meeting.

Sefa celebrated its 12th birthday.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution calling for the proclamation of 2025 as an International Year of Cooperatives.

The Snow Foundation announced the second cohort of Snow Entrepreneurs.

Social Scaffolding relaunched its website.

In partnership with Developing East Arnhem Limited and Indigenous Business Australia, Impact North held a First Nations Women in Business Forum.

Grants & Funding

Paul Ramsay Foundation is committing $60 million to establish an evergreen impact investing fund.

White Box Enterprises secured $12 million from impact investors and philanthropists to launch social enterprises.

Fourteen social enterprises will receive more than $4.7 million as part of the pioneering Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) Grant program managed by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Australian Spatial Analytics secured $5 million in blended finance from Paul Ramsay Foundation.

Block Inc is investing $3 million in First Australians Capital’s Catalytic Impact Fund.

AllianzGI, FMO Investment Management and the MacArthur Foundation launched the SDG Loan Fund, one of the largest blended finance funds on record.

Conscious Investment Management (CIM) announced the first close of its $200 million CIM Social Housing Fund 2.

KKR & Co. closed $2.8 billion for a new fund dedicated to investments that advance sustainability and social equity.

Reports & Research

The Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services released its final report, recommending large scale reform and mentioning “social enterprise” 190 times.

White Box Enterprises released an independent evaluation of the Federal Government Payment By Outcomes trial and its first year results.

Commissioned by Social Enterprise Australia and funded by the Westpac Foundation, Centre for Social Impact (CSI) Swinburne launched research on Understanding the Impact Costs of Work Integration Social Enterprises.

CSI is also launching a national research project, ‘The Social Economy Survey’, to track trends in the for-purpose sector in Australia and make sense of how it could be part of large-scale social change.

Impact Seed and WA Social Enterprise Council (WASEC) released a 2023 update to the WA Social Enterprise Mapping Project.

The Productivity Commission released a draft report setting out its findings and recommendations for philanthropic giving in Australia. 

Social Enterprise Council of NSW & ACT (SECNA) opened its 2023 Annual Member Survey.

QSEC released its 2023 Annual Report.

Social Enterprise World Forum released its 2023 Event Report.

Infoexchange released its 2023 Digital Technology in the Not-For-Profit Sector Report.

Westpac Foundation released its 2023 Impact Report.

Tenacious Ventures released its inaugural Impact Report.

Sefa Partnerships released its 2023 Annual Report.

Government Policy, Initiatives & Advocacy

Social Enterprise Australia released a summary of stakeholder views on the design of $11.6M Social Enterprise Development Initiative (SEDI).

The NSW Government announced an inquiry into procurement practices of government agencies in New South Wales.

Social Traders’ CEO Tara Anderson presented at the Treasurer’s Investor Roundtable on Social Impact Investing at Parliament House.

Feedback submissions on the principles and priorities of a Blueprint for Australia’s not-for-profit sector close 20 December 2023.

This wrap-up, though not exhaustive, brings to light key sector developments and initiatives relevant to Australian social enterprises and social purpose organisations. The information included is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of 6 December 2023. If we’ve missed something, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can leave a comment below or drop us a line at

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Jay Boolkin
Jay Boolkin

I'm passionate about positive social change and the power of social entrepreneurship to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. I believe that for-purpose business models can become part of the mainstream and I am enthusiastic about advocating for business models that are genuinely built around a social or environmental mission.

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