Wade Noonan, Minister for Industry and Employment, has announced that the 2017-18 Victorian Budget includes $5.8 million in new funding for social enterprise.
The funding injection adds to the $5 million announced in February to support implementation of the Social Enterprise Strategy which is designed to increase impact and innovation.
The Victorian Government says the $10.8 million in support for social enterprises will create a statewide network of social enterprises to boost collaboration and innovation, deliver a major skills development program for organisations to grow their workforce and increase opportunities for social enterprises to supply goods and services to government.
“It’s an exciting time for social enterprises in Victoria, with more than $10 million in funding to support this thriving sector—creating jobs and business opportunities,” Minister Noonan says.
The announcement was made at the YMCA’s Bridge Project which breaks down barriers to employment by providing young ex-offenders with the support, training and mentoring they need to get a fresh start. The Bridge Project has already helped place 75 young people into meaningful jobs.
The YMCA’s social enterprise, ReBuild, employs at-risk young people at its maintenance business, with staff involved in gardening, landscaping, painting and rubbish removal.
Victoria is home to Australia’s largest collection of social enterprises – with about 5,000 organisations operating statewide, employing around 75,000 Victorians.
Nationwide, social enterprise activity is estimated to make up 2-3 per cent of GDP.
Read the Victorian Social Enterprise Strategy here.