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:
- Have a defined primary social, cultural or environmental purpose consistent with a public or community benefit, and
- Derive a substantial portion of their income from trade, and
- 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.