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Top Stories: Australian Social Entrepreneurs of 2016

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Throughout the year, we try our best to keep a running list of exceptional stories about Australian social entrepreneurs. Here we attempt to wrap up 2016 with some of the year’s most worthy headlines. Skim them again or read for the first time for some social change inspiration. A big thank you to all those brave individuals who are committed to working on innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. We can’t wait to see what happens in 2017.

Obviously we couldn’t read everything and there will no doubt be stories that we missed. If you read about an Australian social entrepreneur kicking butt in 2016, please add your suggestions (along with the URL to the original article) in the comments section.

Hireup Website Allows People with Disabilities to Choose Their Own Caregivers

People with a disability are gaining greater control over their care thanks to a new phone app and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Social Startup ‘who Gives a Crap’ Is Making Toilet Paper Cool to Help Those in Need

Marking a significant departure from their usual clientele (Google, Apple, Nike and Sephora and Vogue Japan to name a few) international design duo Craig & Karl have teamed up with social enterprise Who Gives a Crap to design a series of limited edition toilet paper wrappers.

From Hanoi to Melbourne, Eating to Help the Hungry

Inspired by her volunteer work with a pioneering social enterprise in Vietnam, Rebecca Scott has become one of Australia’s most innovative and successful social entrepreneurs, building STREAT from an idea to provide hospitality training and employment for young people into a sustainable and profitable food service business.

African Refugee Training Others in Brisbane Restaurant to Help Them Gain Work

A not-for-profit Brisbane restaurant that trains and helps break down social barriers for newly arrived female African refugees hopes to expand interstate.

A Catering Company with a Conscience

On King Street there’s a kitchen full of refugees and asylum seekers getting experience and training. But they aren’t there only to receive help themselves. They’re making fresh, home-cooked food for people in Sydney who are homeless.

Tasmanian Ghanaian Fashion Enterprise to Help Fix Obstetric Fistulas

Carla Yahaya is launching an online fashion business that will bring Ghanaian designs to Australian women, at the same time as helping women have obstetric fistulas repaired.

Docklands’ Good Cycles Uses Bikes as a Vehicle for Social Change

A Docklands social enterprise will convert two shipping containers into a bike shop to help get disadvantaged people into the workplace and the community.

Thankyou Baby Range Aims to Combat Shocking Childbirth Stats

Thankyou Group co-founder Daniel Flynn has been paying close attention to the price of nappies and it’s not just because the social entrepreneur is a new dad.

Domestic Violence: Brisbane Schoolboys’ Project Raises Funds for Women’s Legal Service

While Year 12 students across Queensland celebrate their last day of school today, three young graduates of Brisbane Boys’ College are busy raising money to combat domestic violence.

Meet the Entrepreneur Who Has Created a Beer Brand with a Social Difference – and Counts the Prime Minister among His Supporters

When thinking about craft beer, one’s mind doesn’t typically jump to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, but environmentalist and entrepreneur James Grugeon wants to change that.

Silver Lining for Refugees at Sydney’s Social Outfit

An unassuming clothing shop in Sydney’s inner-west employs refugees with sewing skills to make beautiful, ethical clothing.

The Spice Exchange Is the Perfect Recipe to Empower Refugee Women

A social enterprise founded by Access Community Services in Brisbane, The Spice Exchange, helps refugee and migrant women gain employment through cooking, creating spice blends and making gingerbread using knowledge and recipes from their home countries.

Three Australians Win 2017 Queen’s Young Leaders Award for Their Dedication to Social Enterprise

Three budding Australian entrepreneurs are set for a royal encounter and dine at 10 Downing Street next year after winning the 2017 Queen’s Young Leaders award.

Property Initiatives Social Enterprise Builds Rent Roll for Women’s Housing

Property Initiatives, a real estate agency that ploughs any profit into a charity developing accommodation for vulnerable women, is counting on partnerships with developers to give it scale.

Drink Good Coffee for a Great Cause at Melbourne’s Social Enterprise Cafes

To many, a cafe latte or shot of espresso is just a good way to kick-start the day. To the at-risk youth who are trained and employed at non-profit cafes such as Melbourne’s STREAT, it’s a new shot at life. If you want to drink coffee for a good cause, you can, thanks to Melbourne’s stellar social enterprise cafes.

Nipuni Wijewickrema’s Blooming Social Enterprise

Nipuni Wijewickrema, 22, co-manages a Canberra florist designed to give people with special needs employment opportunities. The idea was conceived with her 16-year-old sister Gayana, who has Down syndrome, in mind.

Positive Charge Offers Power to the People … Solar Power

Since 2013 Melbourne-based social enterprise Positive Charge has helped out with more than 10,000 inquiries about solar from householders, including the perplexed and gullible.

Brisbane Brothers Plant Seeds of Change Through Gardening Social Enterprise

A Brisbane brotherly duo are advocating for greater awareness of autism and depression by building and maintaining gardens throughout the river city.

Small Business Secrets: Social Enterprises Springing Up

Old mattresses can easily end up as landfill. Or, as this social enterprise has shown, be used to create new employment opportunities for disadvantaged people.

Australian Social Enterprise Lights up India’s Slums

From humble beginnings failing to sell solar lights at a market stall, a group of Australian entrepreneurs has now brought light to 72,000 of India’s poorest people.

Turning Hospital Landfill into a Viable Social Enterprise in Central Victoria

Single-use hospital towels usually destined for landfill are finding a second life in a nifty social enterprise giving work to people with disabilities and raising money for charity.

Small Social Enterprise with Big Dreams Gives Young Brisbane Woman Purpose

A tiny, colourful shop in the foyer of Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane is creating hope and teaching others to pay it forward through social enterprise.

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4 Comments
  • Work For The Soul, a Community Support Centre offering projects and services that support the most vulnerable in the Community. Accomplished by the support receieved from participants involved in wfdp projects where they can gain real life skills and experience from a variety of our projects including; Penny Pinchers Op Shop, Food For Thought food rescue service, D&A digitizing and audio service, Form Filling and Emergency Relief Service

    January 4, 2017 at 5:13 am Reply
  • Moira DeslandesMoira Deslandes

    No SA examples in the list above. You might like to have a look at the finalists in Start Some Good’s Pitch for Good for some stories. There is a real lack of content generally from SA and NT too – can you have a go at trying to address that?

    January 15, 2017 at 9:23 am Reply

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