Skip to content

The role of social enterprises in helping to make the world a better place

As many of you know, I am passionate about the role of social enterprises in helping to make the world a better place. So here’s a few of my favourites. I’d love to hear about your favourites too.
Six people are lying on the grass, facing upwards, heads pointing inside the circle. Their shoulders are touching and their arms are interlaced and held together by their hands. They are smiling.

Brotherhood of St Laurence

One of my favourite clients, stores, and online bookstores, Brotherhood Books and Hunter Gatherer vintage shops in Melbourne CBD and Fitzroy.

Positive Charge

Another of my favourite clients providing trusted advice on sustainability solutions for your home. Advice on heating, cooling, lighting and more.


After her own experience with cancer, the fabulous Jodi Dack decided to start a business selling hats to women suffering hair loss and donate part proceeds back to the cause. Baldilicous because you may have no hair but you are still fabulous and delicious.

The Lucky Iron Fish

I recently bought a bundle of these for family, friends and clients. All you do is drop the fish into a pot to add more iron to food. Buy a fish and another fish is donated to a Cambodian family. Iron deficiency is high in Cambodia.

Ways and Means Cafe

You’ll often find me here meeting with Victorian Government clients. Part of Youth Support and Advocacy Services (YSAS), the café provides funding and training for vulnerable youth across Victoria. Good food, coffee and bonus warm inner glow.

Who Gives a Crap

Our dining room wall is often lined with Who Gives a Crap toilet paper boxes for family, friends and clients. The organisation donates 50% of to WaterAid to build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. They’ve just started making kitchen towel and tissues too.

Kinfolk cafe

Based in The Hub building on Bourke St, Kinfolk distributes 100% of profits to charity partners. The School of Life café and bookshop is just next door, providing equally delicious food as well as plenty of food for thought.

Feast of Merit

Incredibly tasty food and drinks menu, Feast of Merit, a Richmond-based restaurant supports YGAP. YGAP profits go to impact entrepreneurs in Australia, Kenya and South Africa who have launched ventures that are improving the lives of people in poverty.


A bar based in Manchester Lane in Melbourne, this bar sends profits back to the purchased alcohol’s country of origin. Last time I was there I had a beer from Ethiopia.

The Sorghum Sisters

Sorghum Sisters provide conference and function catering, specialising in African cuisine. “They’re awesome,” Helga says.


STREAT is a social enterprise that provides training for homeless and disadvantaged youth through its cafes, catering and coffee roasting businesses. I often pop into the Streat café on Mackillop place in Melbourne.

ASRC Cleaning

An important one for me, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) Cleaning provides employment for asylum seekers who are ineligible for government welfare or who has otherwise been unable to secure employment.

The Big Issue

This fortnightly, independent magazine sold on the streets by homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people continues to be one of the most successful social enterprises around. It’s also where I find out about current affairs, books, films and music.

And some I haven’t tried yet, however they sound interesting:


MyS4S have a mission to help over 50,000 Australian seniors become connected by 2020. I’m proud to be a small part of the story of this gem of an idea, having encouraged the Director, Justine, to do a social enterprise course a few years ago.


I was excited to hear about Fairphone, a group that’s building the first ethically sourced smartphone. Modelled on fair trade, materials are not sourced from conflict zones.

Property Initiatives Real Estate

Property Initiatives Real Estate is a real estate company which channels all profits into women’s property initiatives, such as building homes for women and children who are at risk of homelessness. If you have a rental property, consider using this service.

IDS Bookkeeping

Independent Disability Services (IDS) provides services and support to people with a disability. The new IDS Bookkeeping service is available to businesses across metropolitan Melbourne.

Madcap cafes

There are seven MadRun cafes across Victoria and South Australia – with four more to come. The cafes offer a supportive work experience environment for people facing barriers to employment.

The Social Studio

The Social Studio says it is ‘a fashion label and social enterprise that celebrates the style and skills of diverse cultures in Australia’. It gives young refugees get the chance to create sustainable and ethical fashion.

'Ideas to Action' is written in red fond and sits centred above a graphic of a quarter black circle on the bottom-left and a quarter circle of horizontal lines on the bottom-right.

Ideas to Action

Share this