Did you know that 1 in 4 Australians suffers from a physical or mental disability?
That’s almost the entire population of Melbourne or eight times the population of Tasmania. This is a quite a staggering and alarming figure.
Many Australians without a disability may be sceptical of the increased amount of funding being poured into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), but the cold hard truth is that you or a member of your family or friendship circle will almost certainly be affected by some form of disability at some stage of your lives.
The likelihood of living with a disability increases with age and with Australia’s ageing population steadily on the rise this has become a social issue that we as a nation can’t afford to ignore.
Following the NDIS introduction and roll out, disability service providers are now turning to self-sustaining revenue streams, such as ‘Social Enterprises’, to make sure they stand out from their competitors.
So what exactly is a Social Enterprise?
Social Traders define Social Enterprises as organisations that:
a. Are led by an economic, social, cultural, or environmental mission consistent with a public or community benefit;
b. Trade to fulfil their mission1;
c. Derive a substantial portion of their income from trade2; and
d. Reinvest the majority of their profit/surplus in the fulfilment of their mission.
There are now an estimated 20,000 Social Enterprises in Australia. 39% of all income in the Not-for-Profit sector is now generated through trading activity, equating to $22 billion annually.
How can Social Enterprises positively impact you or those in your community affected by a disability?
Whilst doing research on this topic I asked myself this very same question and came across so many inspiring enterprises currently being developed by both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. For example, Social Enterprise 2014 Award Winner – Clean Force Property Services.
Clean Force Property Services is a commercial cleaning company making a difference through their dedication to providing employment for mentally and intellectually handicapped Australians.
A little more about Clean Force Property Services…
Over 50% of Clean Force team members are living with long-term psychiatric disabilities, or learning and intellectual disabilities, and this can often present challenges for other employers who are unable to accommodate their special needs. Clean Force works with employees to identify and address any barriers to employment. Every employee receives supervision and training appropriate to their individual ability and personal needs, and within that context they are trained as commercial cleaners who can deliver the highest quality service for Clean Force’s customers.
On top of this supervision and training, Clean Force offers its employees nationally accredited traineeships in Asset Maintenance (Cleaning Operations). As a qualification that is recognised across the country, this is an impressive yardstick for both the enterprise and its trainees.
Click here to read about more inspiring projects from the winners of the Social Enterprise 2014 Awards.
To find out more about Social Enterprises, including case studies and tips on how to start, grow, buy or invest in a Social Enterprise check out the Social Traders’ website.
So how is your organisation undergoing its transition to the NDIS?
What new strategies are you adopting to ensure you stay afloat?
What have been your biggest challenges and successes?
Don’t miss your chance to reflect on the NDIS and share your experiences with like-minded professionals at our upcoming conference
Getting workforce ready for the NDIS
24th & 25th February 2015 Sydney Boulevard Hotel
- NDIS: Get big, get niche, or get out
- What do you really think about the NDIS? Thoughts from people with disability, their families and carers
- NDIS for the younger generation