Ethical Enterprise Award 2017

The Ethical Enterprise Award 2017 recognises the most inspirational ethical enterprise in Australia – a business or organisation that has achieved the most positive social and economic impact in a local or overseas community through their innovative and ethical trade practices.

Winners will be announced at an Awards dinner in Melbourne on 16 October to coincide with Moral Fairground’s Ethical Enterprise Conference, an educational and networking event bringing ethical and social enterprises together to discuss challenges, issues and opportunities facing the sector.

Sponsored by Australian Ethical, the winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 courtesy of Australian Ethical and gain national recognition throughout the business, non-profit and social enterprise sector for their contribution to society, and their unique vision and leadership.

Past winners of the Ethical Enterprise Award include: Seven Women (2014); Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (2015), and Pollinate Energy (2016).

Australian Ethical has sponsored the awards since their inception, in line with its strong belief in building and supporting ethical enterprises to continue their work and improve the world we live in.

Anna McGregor, Australian National Manager for Pollinate Energy, said the enterprise used the prize money from last year’s award to buy hundreds of life-changing products for people in the slums of Lucknow, in northern India.

Pollinate was founded in 2012 with a mission to bring solar light to India’s slums by empowering locals, dubbed “pollinators” to set up small businesses to sell the lights to families in their communities. Families pay off the lights in a few weeks with the money they would otherwise spend on fuel for toxic and ineffective kerosene candles. Pollinate is currently operating in five cities and has a mission to be operating in 20 cities by 2020.

As well as having a shot at the prize money, finalists will have access to media, publicity and business development opportunities. This year, prizes include $7,000 for the runner-up. The third prize winner will receive $6,000 of professional business coaching.

Nominations are also open for the Early Ethical Entrepreneurs Pitch Competition, which is open to start-up businesses that have the potential to improve the social, economic and environmental conditions of an overseas or local community.

Shortlisted applicants for the Early Ethical Entrepreneurs Pitch Competition will have the opportunity to present their idea to four business and social entrepreneurial leaders at the Ethical Enterprise Conference on 16-17 October.

Last year’s winner was Fruit2Work, a social enterprise startup that creates jobs for former offenders by selling fruit to businesses in Melbourne.  Fruit2Work co-founder Ariel Hersh said exposure associated with participating in the pitch competition helped the startup to find customers and it is now selling around four times as much fruit as it was at the time of the competition late last year.

Submissions for the Ethical Enterprise Award and the Early Ethical Entrepreneurs Pitch Competition are open until 1 September.

Moral Fairground is a Melbourne-based social enterprise and organiser of the annual Fair@Square, Australia’s largest ethical and fair-trade festival. Moral Fairground’s aim is to create positive social impact by increasing economic opportunities and fairness within society – achievements met by creating avenues for enterprises to become more effective in delivering their social mission. 

Australian Ethical is Australia’s leading ethical wealth manager.