Co-operative Social Enterprises
A Co-operative Social Enterprise is a self-help organisation which is formed to
meet a common social need of its members.
Most social enterprises are part of the not-for-profit sector of the Australian
Many provide services to
that are not the owners of the enterprise (eg social enterprises run by
charities). The remainder are member benefit
organisations (co-operatives, mutuals) that provide social services to
the owners (members)
of the enterprise.
Co-operative Social Enterprises boast the highest number and
provide the widest
range of services of any co-operative type in Australia.
Services provided by this type of co-operative include social housing,
education and training, employment services, aged care, social support,
care and health services.
A number provide services to a disadvantaged
group such as the long term unemployed, low income earners, ethnic minorities,
disabilites and aboriginal people.
Some rely on some form of government assistance
and/or community support to
provide professional services
A new form of social enterprise called a
has emerged in Australia in recent years. A social business is a for-profit
social enterprise with social
objectives at its core. People and institutions invest in a
for social purposes, not personal profit. Investors can gradually
recoup the money they invest in the enterprise, but do not
take any profits beyond that point. Unlike a co-operative, which serves a
single stakeholder group,
a social business shares its prosperity with all its
LINKS TO AUSTRALIAN CO-OPERATIVE SOCIAL ENTERPRISES
Child Care Services
Disability and Aged Care Services
Education and Training
Medical and Other Health Care Services