New South Wales’ (NSW) state government has signed a deal to help ensure more official contracts go to social enterprises.
Minister for finance and small business Damien Tudehope said the state had signed an agreement with Social Traders, an organisation which provides certification to social enterprises and connects them to procurement opportunities.
Tudehope said the deal would make it easier for government departments to know they are securing goods and services from certified social enterprises.
“Social Traders certifies and maintains a list of entities that meet recognised social enterprise requirements and NSW government departments can now access and use this information to increase the social impact of their procurements,” Tudehope said.
“This agreement will enable NSW government departments to use their procurement spend to support social enterprises and create employment opportunities for some of our community members most impacted by Covid-19.”
He added the NSW Government Procurement Policy Framework had been updated to encourage agencies to consider social enterprises in their procurement.
Social enterprises are defined as businesses that exist to benefit the community.
One way they do this is by creating jobs for groups facing higher barriers to employment, including people with disabilities, refugees, Indiginous people, young people and the long-term unemployed.
The enterprises also reinvest profits to provide more support to disadvantaged Australians in the community and develop solutions to social, environmental, economic or cultural challenges.
Gareth Ward, minister for families, communities and disability services, said social enterprises significantly enhance the social and economic participation of disadvantaged people across the state.
Social Traders managing director David Brookes added: “Social enterprises... have a particularly unique role to play in the Covid-19 economic recovery by creating jobs for the most vulnerable who have fallen out of the job market.”
The state government said companies such as Beehive Industries – a Social Traders-certified business which offers work activity, meals and support for the elderly, people with disabilities and the long-term unemployed – would benefit from more state contracts.