Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Bright Future for Australia’s Social Enterprises

The , Ursula Stephens, today congratulated the School for Social Entrepreneurs inaugural graduating class.

The Sydney-based School for Social Entrepreneurs provides professional support and enterprise development mentoring for social enterprises and the entrepreneurs driving them.

The Australian Government has supported the School for Social Entrepreneurs with $1.2 million from the Innovation Fund.

“The 17 students in the graduating class have shown impressive entrepreneurial drive and an innovative approach to addressing social needs,” Senator Stephens.

“Their enthusiasm, tenacity and business acumen should ensure the success of these social enterprises in offering local solutions to people in our community who face particular challenges in finding work.”

CEO of the School, Benny Callaghan, said that graduating students are responsible for employing 36 community members in paid positions and over 189 as volunteers and since their involvement in the School have attracted over $2.5 million in investment.

“We have seen amazing results from our students to date with many developing the confidence, networks and skills to make their projects more effective and sustainable. Our students have secured funding, developed partnerships and delivered significant social impact in their communities.”

Senator Stephens said that the Australian Government recognises the valuable role that social entrepreneurs can play and has already supported more than 75 social enterprises through the first round of the $650 million Jobs Fund and the $41 million Innovation Fund.”

The Australian Government is committed to giving everyone in our society the right and opportunity to realise their potential – whether through education, employment, participating in the community, or having their voice heard in order to create a fairer and more inclusive Australia.

For more information about the Australian Government’s social inclusion agenda visit

For more on the School for Social Entrepreneurs visit the School for Social Entrepreneurs website or contact Sally McGeoch 0438 153 655.