One of the core strengths of the Strategic Economic Solutions (SES) team is working with social enterprises. Each of the staff has had hands-on experience with at least one social enterprise. We range in experience from Site Managers to Training Officers to sessional staff and volunteers. And have all had roles on Boards and Committees, in some cases for many years.
This passion for grass-roots social enterprise has driven our work in five main areas. In this section of the website you will find information about the work we do with social enterprises.
We run creative and engaging strategic planning sessions, trying to live by the motto that the sessions must leave participants that they are actually looking forward to the next one. One inspiring leader from Chicago (Bliss Brown from Imagine Chicago, a great tale of urban renewal with grass-roots support) used the yardstick that her meetings should appeal to her 8-year old daughter. This approach immediately cuts out too most of the usual whiteboard and butchers paper lists that many of us a bit tired of!
One of our team, Kim Houghton, is a qualified community mediator and facilitator and is able to bring over 20 years experience in those fields to group facilitations.
SES has deliver significant organisational change projects. These include helping the Spatial Sciences Coalition transition to the Spatial Sciences Institute, and partnering with an IT integration expert to help a regional financial institution complete a merger with two smaller institutions.
Feasibility studies and business planning for non-profits
We have worked with organisations as diverse as the National Wool Museum, Lifeline Australia, Disability ACT and Canberra’s planned National Glass Centre on aspects of their business practice and future planning. We generally do not take on feasibility and business planning assignments for the private sector (though we hear that it pays better) as we know that the social enterprise sector is poorly serviced by specialists who actually understand their particular circumstances.
We have evaluated a variety of social enterprise initiatives – from a specialist value-adding agricultural organisation to a regional business expo to a leadership program. We were also privileged to undertake a long-term evaluation of a series of youth-focused social enterprises seed-funded by the Foundation for Young Australians.