Bringing together Sydney’s social enterprise ecosystem: inside the SEWF23 community hub
What are your desired outcomes of your Community Hub/what are you most excited about?
Our main goal for the Sydney Community Hub is to bring our local social enterprise ecosystem together, to connect, share and identify new ways to work together to achieve common goals. We are also excited to tap into the global conversation and insights from SEWF23 in Amsterdam.
How are you designing your event? What advice would give to other local governments looking to support the local Social Enterprise?
The City of Sydney initiated the event and invited our local sector peak body, the Social Enterprise Council of NSW and ACT, to co-host this event with us. We knew that for this event to be successful, it needed a partnership approach, to ensure we meet the needs of the local ecosystem and continue to strengthen the City of Sydney’s relationship with SECNA and other social enterprises.
What can people expect at your Community Hub this year?
This event will include panel discussions, networking opportunities, delicious catering from local social enterprises. There will be a lot of promotional opportunities as we prepared a poster display showcasing all the attending social enterprises and an opportunity for our local entrepreneurs to have their head shot taken by a professional photographer to help with their marketing and profile.
SECNA – why is it important for you to be able to collaborate with local government?
Great things happen when people collaborate, particularly when there are shared goals and values. Local government and social enterprises both want to create healthy, happy, connected communities, so there’s a natural partnership there. City of Sydney have some resources to organise events like this and SECNA has the industry knowledge and relationships to get the best social enterprise minds in the room for a powerful discussion to build on SEWF’s themes locally. It has been a great partnership with each of us bringing our particular strengths to the table to put together an exciting day for the social enterprise sector.
SECNA – explain a little about your work in particular your focus on local government engagement programme?
SECNA exists to engage and connect the social enterprise ecosystem and to be a voice for social enterprises, particularly to government. Over the past few months in particular, we have built strong working relationships with 17 local governments, understanding their interest and knowledge levels when it comes to social enterprise, sharing ideas and strategies between them and helping them to engage with and build a supportive environment for social enterprises in their area.
City of Sydney – explain a little about your social enterprise strategy and how you are supporting social enterprise in Sydney?
The City of Sydney is continuing to support our social enterprise sector through grant funding to SECNA to run key capacity building programs and local initiatives, including the first Social Enterprise Festival in 2023. We are part of local ecosystem events, building our relationships and understanding of the sector and getting involved! This helps us to understand how we can best support the ecosystem and identify priorities. We will strive for a diverse and inclusive economy as part of our new economic strategy for Sydney, supporting mission-drive social enterprises to establish and prosper while also meeting the social needs and environmental challenges faced by our community.
City of Sydney – What legacy do you hope this event will enable?
We hope this event will increase connections within our local ecosystem, help to identify common goals and priorities for the sector and continue to raise awareness of social enterprise as a for purpose business model.
If you’re unable to attend SEWF23 in-person or online, you can find a Community Hub closest to you and join the local conversations with inspiring changemakers and social entrepreneurs.