New Social Business Models in Australia
There are some amazing new and innovative social business models emerging here in Australia. In fact, I love that Australians are now seeing the opportunities in starting social businesses that meet market niches and can offer creative ways of adding value to communities locally and abroad. Here are 7 new examples of innovative and local Australian social business models:
Thankyou. company: https://thankyou.co/
Based in Melbourne and started by Daniel Flynn, the business entered the bottled water market promoting a social profit motive. Now this exciting company has expanded to sell body care and hand wash products, breakfast cereals and health food bars. The business sets out to direct 100% of profits to worthy causes globally. The company is also leading the way in creating new ways for its customers to engage with its social purpose – a great example of this is in its introduction of a unique ID tracker system on all its Thankyou products. This system enables customers to go online and see the exact details of the project their product is assigned to fund globally. Brilliant!
Who Gives A Crap!: http://au.whogivesacrap.org/
This cool and creative social enterprise targets the taboo topic of what products we use to wipe our bums with! The business aims to reduce environmental impacts by using 100% recycled inputs (paper, bamboo, etc) and donates 50% of its profits to WaterAid to build toilets for those in need. Now that would create a toilet experience worth talking about!
Social Cycles: http://www.social-cycles.com/
This creative social enterprise takes the potential negatives associated with voluntourism (those projects that seek to combine volunteering with tourism) and reframes the experience by offering visits to remote NGO projects in Cambodia via a bicycle tour model. SocialCycles is set up as a social enterprise with the explicit purpose to educate people about sensitive and deeply embedded cultural issues involved in alleviating poverty in developing countries such as Cambodia and in helping people to see firsthand the issues NGOs face in regards to efficiency and sustainability.
This start-up is very much still in its formative stages (aiming to start in Spring 2016) and will offer an innovative approach to tackling the stigma of men’s health issues. Mr. GP is a social start-up that aims to make men feel more comfortable visiting their doctor by conducting sessions in a pub-like environment – which for most of us Aussie males would be something we would jump at!
The Good Beer Company: http://thegoodbeerco.com.au/
Using the draw card of the good old-fashioned ale this social enterprise will provide a sustainable revenue stream for local charities. Founder James Grugeon was able to launch the business in November 2015 thanks to a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The company’s commitment to social purpose is to give fifty per cent of its profits to the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Awesome – I would drink to that one!
Koala Mattress Company: http://www.koalamattress.com.au/
Another start-up company launched in November last year, the business sells mattresses with a view to improving sleep quality for its purchases. The business commitment to social purpose involves a partnership with the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie. When customers buy a mattress, they adopt a real live koala that is cared for at the Koala Hospital (customers even get a certificate of adoption!).
The Bread and Butter Project: http://thebreadandbutterproject.com/
Created by Bourke Street Bakery, The Bread & Butter Project is an artisan bakery delivering handmade bread to Sydney customers. The business is set up as a social enterprise, with 100% of profits reinvested into baker training and employment pathways for communities in need.
Over the years, I have personally mentored and coached a number of social enterprise leaders, and have also led a number of social enterprises myself – most of these have been while based in a developing country context. Now, we are seeing many emerging opportunities for entrepreneurs to start social businesses that add value across the world and within our Australian context. I love the way that Aussies are innovating in this space! In the next post, I will cover some international examples of social enterprise and later on will also provide some key learning’s from our experiences working abroad in supporting social enterprise development! Stay tuned..