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Department of Education, Employment and Workplace : Increased investment in social enterprise boosts local communities

06/27/2012 | 02:26am EDT

A new social investment fund will help Australia's social enterprises to grow, build their capacity and increase the impact of their work in local communities.

Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis today announced a third manager in the Australian Government's Social Enterprise Development and Investment Funds (SEDIF), bringing the total capital worth of the partnership with private investors to $40 million.

The new $8.6 million Social Impact Fund is being managed by Social Ventures Australia (SVA) and has approved its first loan recipient, North Yarra Community Health.

The $300,000 loan will go to North Yarra Community Health to help them establish a new health practice. Profits from the practice will fund its community health centres in Collingwood, Carlton and Fitzroy.

"North Yarra Community Health has a long history of working locally to deliver a range of medical, allied health, social work and community development services," Ms Ellis said.

"The SEDIF is about helping social enterprises to grow their business and deliver more social outcomes. The new practice will provide a more sustainable and reliable income, which means that North Yarra can improve the quality and scale of operations at their community health centres."

The first two funds under the SEDIF were announced in August 2011. More than 250 social enterprises have already sought access to loans.

Social Ventures Australia will offer loans, subordinated debt and equity options with the $4 million Australian Government grant, which is being matched by an additional $4.6 million from individual and institutional investors.

Ms Ellis said the SEDIF is an excellent example of how the Government in collaboration with the private sector can deliver social and financial benefits to local communities.

"What better way to create jobs at the local community level than by ensuring organisations with a social mission can access adequate financial help.

"This is a business model of the future for how governments worldwide can deliver social policy in a financially viable way.

"It's important we get the word out to businesses and the community about the opportunities SEDIF has to offer," Ms Ellis said.

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© Publicnow 2012
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