social enterprise

The Social Enterprise Reporting Tool (SERT) is the first of its kind in Australia and is now available to all social enterprises.

The tool is the result of a research project by the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology (CSI Swinburne) and is part of the Bankwest Foundation Social Impact Series. It follows A Year in the Life of Western Australia’s Social Enterprises, which found that due to the typically small nature of social enterprises, many entrepreneurs found it challenging to dedicate adequate resources for effective reporting on both their financial and social performance.

Dr Chris Mason, SERT project lead and Senior Research Fellow at CSI Swinburne, said the need for the new tool was very clear.

“The research shows many social enterprises are struggling to meet the balance of their reporting requirements, in part because their mission is two-fold: financial sustainability and social impact.”

Effective reporting matters because it can help social enterprises to make better use of their data internally to inform business decisions, as well as strengthening their external communications in activities such as contract tenders, grant applications, or accessing investment or other finance.

The reporting tool has been favourably received by social entrepreneurs involved in testing SERT.

Founder and director of Befriend, Nick Maisey, said that he was excited by the accessibility and application of SERT.

“Aside from the tool being a useful way of pooling together our financial reporting with our social impact measurement, embedding its use into our operations will act as a useful prompt to reflect on our organisation’s progress

“Having a structured approach to strengthen our ability to track changes in both social impact and financial health over time is a vital step in helping social enterprises flourish,” said Nick.

To access SERT go here.

Download a copy of A Year in the Life of Western Australia’s Social Enterprises here.