Social enterprises rely on their trading activities and income to achieve their social purpose, so market development is essential to social enterprise success. The Victorian social enterprise landscape is diverse with social enterprises operating in all industries and a variety of markets. The economic shocks of 2020 are seeing some Victorian social enterprises diversifying or shifting into different markets and anecdotal evidence suggests that some social enterprises are extending their product offerings to take advantage of social procurement opportunities (e.g. cafes offering corporate catering).

Social procurement is widely considered the most effective Government lever to improving market development. In Victoria it is primarily enabled through the Victorian Social Procurement Framework.

While the Victorian Social Procurement Framework aims to support growth in business-to-business social enterprise markets, many Victorian social enterprises are business-to-consumer enterprises, and this requires a different approach. For more detail read Theme 3 of the Discussion Paper.

Thought starters

Some questions to get you thinking. Respond to one or more of these, or add your own questions, reflections and insights relating to this theme in the space below. If you have more to say, consider making a full submission.

What is needed to assist social enterprises to grow their market opportunities in Victoria in general and in rural and regional markets in particular?

What benefits and challenges are social enterprises experiencing in participating in the Victorian Social Procurement Framework and how could challenges be addressed?

What could the Victorian Government do to assist social enterprises to scale or otherwise increase their capacity to meet new social procurement demands and opportunities?

What opportunities exist for business-to-consumer social enterprises to grow their markets in Victoria, and how should Government help?

What examples exist of successful strategies for growing markets for business-to-consumer social enterprises and what could we learn from these?

What could the Victorian Government be doing to support certification of Victorian social enterprises?

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