Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

US expert urges innovation in social enterprise

Thought-leader on ethical branding, global development and social entrepreneurship, Jonathan Greenblatt, today encouraged not-for-profit organisations to be more innovative when establishing social enterprises.

Speaking at a presentation at Parliament House this afternoon, Mr Greenblatt drew from his own experience as co-founder of Ethos Brands, founding president of All for Good– an initiative designed to engage more Americans in community volunteer work, and as CEO of diversified online media company GOOD Worldwide.

Mr Greenblatt explained the factors that have combined to create a fertile environment for social enterprise, such as climate change, social networking and the crisis of confidence in established institutions following the global financial crisis.

He encouraged not-for-profits to take advantage of this positive climate and start up new social enterprises that apply principles of innovation, using either business or not-for-profit models, to drive social change.

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, said the Australian Government realises the power of social enterprises in helping it achieve its vision of a stronger, fairer Australia.

“We have supported over 100 social enterprises through the $650 million Jobs Fund and $41 million Innovation Fund, and are also looking at ways that we can further build the capacity of these social enterprises to prosper and grow.

“Jonathan has shared some valuable advice today about how to use technological and social developments to establish successful social enterprises, which will be of great benefit to both government and social entrepreneurs as we seek to grow our social enterprise sector.

Senator Stephens thanked Catholic Social Services Australia and Sydney University for organising Mr Greenblatt’s visit to share overseas examples of best practice social enterprise innovation.