Intro to Social Enterprise – Working for a Purpose

Do you have a passion to create a fairer and more sustainable world? Intro to Social Enterprise – Working for a Purpose will take you through understanding business models and skills that aim to tackle social problems, improve communities, benefit the environment and provide people with access to employment and training.

Two men are seen in a plant nursery, one of whom holds a plant in his hand.
Logo: Learn Local – Skills for study work and life

Course details

This eight-session course will run on the following date in 2023:

Wed 15 Mar – 3 May


– Concession available
– ACFE subsidised course placements are available. The cost for ACFE Eligible participants is $98.

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment. Social Traders Australia defines social enterprises as doing three things:

  1. Have a defined primary social, cultural or environmental purpose consistent with a public or community benefit, and
  2. Derive a substantial portion of their income from trade, and
  3. Invest efforts and resources into their purpose such that public/community benefit outweighs private benefit.

They operate in all industry sectors of the economy, from facilities management, to catering and hospitality, to business administration to design.

The Intro to Social Enterprise – Working for a Purpose course leads participants through a journey of building their understanding, skills and connection to the why, how, what, when and impacts of Social Enterprise.

Participants will be able to define their purpose, values and goals as an individual and for a potential business idea. They will also learn the basics of building a social enterprise, business models, explore case studies and meet enterprise owners. This course will also build skills and understanding in financial management, budgeting, marketing and evaluating their success and impact.

Course length:
The course runs over eight weeks and eight x six-hour sessions, from 10am-4pm

Over eight weeks, course participants will explore different topic areas such as:

  • Defining social enterprise, values and purpose
  • Social enterprise models and building regenerative organisations
  • Business models, buckets and scale
  • Feasibility – Funding, finance and business basics
  • Creating a business plan
  • Marketing and communications
  • Measuring social impact
  • Industry practice, presentations and pathways

Each session has been crafted to involve the learner in the topic. Participants will have the opportunity to invent, practise, and play with the topics they have learned.

* This is an ACFE Approved Pre-accredited Course where the cost is subsidised for eligible participants.

ACFE Eligible participants are deemed eligible through an interview process with our career pathways officer. To learn more check out our Learning Pathways. The costs for these participants are $98.

Contact Karen Mengell on 9389 0127 or email Karen for more information and to book an interview.

Lorna Pettifer is CERES Learning Innovation Director and has been working in environmental education and presenting to community groups onLorna Pettifer sustainability for many years. At CERES Lorna passionately directs CERES education and training programs. She also has a strategic focus on environmental management and innovation projects at CERES. She is passionate about deepening our response to the ecological and climate crisis through CERES learning experiences. Her background in sustainability stems from ecology and zoology and has broadened to community engagement, environmental management, behaviour change and farm and food programs. Her work has supported teachers, students, households and organisations in sustainability management and behaviour change. As an environmental advocate, she has worked in National Parks, Environmental Consultancies, Universities, NGOs and Wildlife reserves as a conservationist, educator, tour guide, bush regenerator, GIS Consultant, environmental modeller and researcher. Lorna proudly received the Environmental & Sustainability Educator of the Year for Victoria in 2018 from EEV and Australian Environmental Educator of the Year 2019 from AAEE.

Cinnamon Evans, CERES’ CEO and social enterprise expert, Cinnamon is an experienced leader in the social enterprise and not-for-profit sectors. Cinnamon is highly skilled in group facilitation, holding space and public speaking.

Nick Verginis is the SENVIC CEO responsible for building a thriving social enterprise community in Victoria. He is an innovative, energetic and strategic executive with a proven record of successfully leading and managing dynamic and diverse workforces across the public, private and community sector in Victoria and the United Kingdom. Nick thrives in cross-sector collaborations and brings over 20 years experience in the independent arts sector, not-for-profits and small social enterprises.

Our booking and refund policies, concession pricing information, FAQs, as well as other general terms and conditions can be viewed here.

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