INSIGHT

Bootcamp for social and Indigenous enterprises

In August this year, we hosted a Social and Indigenous Enterprise Bootcamp in partnership with Westpac.

Representatives from a range of organisations engaged in social innovation or Indigenous entrepreneurship attended the interactive seminar to learn about the legal and commercial issues facing start-ups and growing businesses. Attendees participated in a start-up masterclass, a pitching workshop and received tips for amplifying the value of their enterprise from expert panellists, including Lisa Waldron, Senior Advisor from Westpac Foundation.

Associate Grace Walton, who helped run the Bootcamp, sat down with Lisa and Jodie Symes, Community Engagement Manager at Allens, to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities facing social and Indigenous-owned enterprises, as well as examples of the ongoing work they are doing in this space.

Enterprise model with huge potential

Social enterprises are businesses that exist primarily to fulfil a social or environmental purpose. With an estimated 20,000 social enterprises in Australia, there is immense potential for these organisations to make a valuable and lasting contribution to the community.

A significant focus of Westpac Foundation's 2030 plan is on supporting social enterprises to deliver positive outcomes for the community.

'Social enterprises are effective and they're efficient and they're helping to tap into an unmet need for more than two million Australians who currently demand or need more meaningful work,' Lisa says.

Through the Bootcamps, as well as our Allens Accelerate program, we're assisting organisations operating under social enterprise models to respond to disruption or invest in innovation. For example, the firm provides legal advice to Not-for-profit Law (NFP Law), a program run by Justice Connect. NFP Law offers free or low cost, high quality practical legal help for not-for-profit community organisations. Utilising a social enterprise model, profits generated are redirected back to the core work of Justice Connect.