#EnterprisingStoriesGrowing the Impact Economy Together

Enterprising Stories: Growing Australia's Impact Economy Together


Digital Storytellers, in partnership with Impact Boom and Social Change Central , are working together to produce a range of broadcasts featuring the stories of social enterprises from across the nation, in the lead up to the Social Enterprise World Forum Digital 2021 event (September 27-28 2021).

Our core purpose is to engage and connect a wide range of social enterprises and supporting organisations that are specialised to deliver social impact in a time of deep need. Through this process, we will further build ecosystem connections needed to position social enterprise as the business model of choice for community well-being and economic recovery from COVID, while engaging new stakeholders into the social enterprise system.

Monthly Episodes

Each episode will feature a single key story on a chosen theme plus two short stories that will provide hits of inspiration and learning.

We'll bookend those stories that with a short opportunity to network, plus headline announcements from sector leaders. We'll also relay some of our top tips and learnings from facilitating DIY social enterprise storytelling at Digital Storytellers.

When appropriate, each show will also feature a 30-minute post-show learning circle of networking opportunity, where you'll have a facilitated learning experience exploring a theme at greater depth.

April Episode: Influencing Government Policy towards Impact

22 April - 12:30 - 13:30PM

Influencing Government Policy for Impact

In the lead up to the Social Enterprise World Forum's Policy Forum (27-28 April 2021), we're putting local policy here in Australia in the spotlight.

We'll hear from the internal champions of government who are generating greater awareness and engagement for social enterprises and how our businesses link to positive outcomes for environment and society. 

We'll also hear from Canada, as they prepare for their first opportunity to co-host the SEWF Digital events over this year.

Finally, we'll get an update from one of the leaders at the Alliance for Social Enterprise Networks of Australia as to the latest affairs around the ASENA table. 

Come along for your chance to reconnect with the impact economy community and get up to speed with the latest happenings in our vibrant ecosystem. 

The Stories So Far

We're building a story bank.

By the end of the series, we'll have collected some of Australia's best social enterprise stories into one place, ready to share with the world.

Episode 6: Raising Money

Raising Money

Money, and our access to it, affects everything we do in the social enterprise sector. No matter what role we're playing in the social enterprise ecosystem, or what scale of money we're accessing, we should discuss the different forms of money available to us and how that will affect the ecosystem.

We'll discuss the funding pathway social enterprises can take to grow their capability. Growth of capital and financial markets for social enterprise has long been building momentum. So, where are we at now in a broader sense, and how do we get more funders interested in supporting social enterprise from the ecosystem perspective? 

Speakers included: 

John Harding, Executive Officer, Koondee Woonga-Gat Toor-Rung Fund
John Harding leads one of our nation's few indigenous-led philanthropic funds. Learn more about this fascinating space.

Tom Dawkins, StartSomeGood.com and Anna Guenther, Pledgme.co - chat crowdfunding
Tom and Anna lead two unique crowdfunding platforms that can help social enterprises take their work to scale. If you're thinking of raising money and awareness, crowdfunding should be a first port of call and likely your first 'trial by fire!'

Jessica Roth and Luke Terry - Funding at Scale
Curious about scaling social enterprises? Join leaders Jessica Roth and Luke Terry as they discuss funding at scale with their organisations, Social Impact Hub (Jessica) and Whitebox Enterprises (Luke).

Episode 5: Buying Social Enterprise

4 September, Episode 5: Buying Social Enterprise

Social procurement represents a major opportunity for social enterprise to capture both government and corporate contracts at serious scale. In this episode, we'll learn more about this movement to buy from social enterprise, and also look to Supply Nation's leadership in getting indigenous businesses on the national agenda.

We'll also hear from a few of our friendly colleagues at government and corporate about how to tune our messages towards these buyers and ensure the sector is growing its capacity to serve this space.

Finally, as the experts in social procurement, it is time to give Social Traders the stage to hear about both their achievements and the potential growth they see within this sector.

The Shift to Social Procurement
featuring David Brookes, Managing Director, Social Traders

If you spend a decent amount of time in the social enterprise sector, you'll eventually cross paths with the humble and soft-spoken David Brookes. As the outgoing MD of Social Traders, David has seen the shifting tides of social enterprise over the span of a generation. Let's listen to what this elder of the sector has to say.

As our nation's certification agency for social enterprises, we'll also hear a bit more about the certification process from the perspective of Social Traders, and their invitation to both buyers and enterprises about why certification is important.

Social Traders has long worked to build the relationships with many government agencies who will be making important purchasing decisions affecting the growth of our sector. NSW has recently inked an agreement with Social Traders, where the agency will act as a certifying body to government which social enterprises are capable to provide government services.

David also provides an update as to the Social Enterprise World Forum in this episode.

Advocacy - A Collective Job
featuring Amber O'Connell, Acting Director Social and Economic Inclusion at Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Victorian Government

Amber leads on the Victorian Government’s Social Enterprise Strategy, implementation of the Social Procurement Framework and a number of place-based social and economic inclusion initiatives. She is committed to utilising the best of both business and social policy to create a more equitable and just society. With a background in impact investment, social enterprise capacity building and investment readiness consulting, Amber brings a breadth of valuable experience in using business as a force for good to her role.

Amber was previously the head of capacity building for a large European impact investor operating in developing and emerging economies with an exclusive focus on purpose-led enterprises and cooperatives. She has a degree in International Business and a master’s in International Development and delights in merging the two disciplines to create positive systems change.

Learning from Indigenous leadership - Supply Nation
featuring Laura Berry, CEO Supply Nation

Indigenous-led procurement brings a unique angle to the Australia's social enterprise story. We would do well to learn from this, and are very fortunate to have Laura Berry from Supply Nation on the show discuss how our government currently views Indigenous business. We will ask for Laura's wisdom in how social enterprises could join and support the notion of a fair economic recovery.

Laura was appointed CEO of Supply Nation in 2015 following a career that has spanned both private and public sectors.  Since taking the reins at Supply Nation, Laura has led the organisation through a significant period of growth: doubling the size and national footprint of the organisation, tripling corporate and government membership, and overseeing an explosion in spend with Indigenous businesses of nearly 3,000%.

Laura is a founding director of the Global Supplier Diversity Alliance, and in 2018, Laura was announced as one of the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Women of Influence.  Laura serves as a Commissioner for the Prime Minister’s National COVID19 Commission and is the current Australian Co-Chair of the Australian New Zealand Leadership Forum’s Indigenous Business Sector Group.  Laura is also a member of Minister Birmingham’s inaugural Ministerial Advisory Council for FTA negotiation and sits on the Telstra Indigenous Advisory Committee, and the McKinsey & Company and NRMA’s Reconciliation Action Plan Steering Committees.  

Episode 4: Weaving Impact Networks

28 August, Episode 4: Weaving Impact Networks 

The organic growth of state-based social enterprise networks represents a remarkable addition to the social enterprise landscape of Australia. We are now making our presence known as the Alliance of Social Enterprise Networks of Australia. During this episode we'll share some of the latest news from around the networks and share Stories For Impact that the Digital Storytellers team has helped produce through our storytelling capacity-building program.

Join us for networking after the show from 4-5PM.

Thinking of You Gift (QSEC Story)

Meet the team from Thinking of You Gift, a family-owned micro enterprise gift store that shows that bigger is not always better. Thinking of You Gift is driven by mother-daughter team, Donna and Freya Toussaint, and is based out of of Brisbane Children’s Hospital. Donna came up with the idea for the gift store in order to create choice and control for her daughter’s employment future, and to pave an alternative career pathway, for people with an intellectual disability.

At the centre of Thinking of You Gift is the philosophy of connection - with suppliers, their customers, employees and the community around them. Their products are sourced from local, national and international suppliers that support communities or individuals to have meaningful employment. Most are handmade and use sustainable resources.

Donna and Freya worked with long-term collaborator, Michelle Gonsal of Mish Photography, to bring to life the Thinking of You Gift story for the Stories for Impact bootcamp.

Brendan Lonergan, Beehive Industries (SECNA Story)

Brendan has been promoting social enterprise well before the term was well-known in the circles of social change. More recently his social enterprise has been featured as part of a NSW-announcement to actively procure from more social enterprises. We'll hear how this profile came about and also take Brendan's perspective on how the sector needs to evolve.

Dinidae - Life-changing marketplace (SENVIC Story)

Founded in the belief that businesses should look after community and environment, Dinidae is more than an online marketplace - it is a community for social entrepreneurs and changemakers. Dinidae supports social enterprises within and beyond e-commerce, while also helping society find the companies and organizations that are enriching, beautifying and supporting their communities.

In true alignment to their values of uplifting and supporting social suppliers, they took this opportunity to 'pass the mic' to Mik from Mik's Chai and take us on her journey, weaving their network of social enterprise and conscious consumption.

Niv and Timna are the husband and wife team and co- founders behind Dinidae. Dinidae is an online marketplace dedicated to not-for-profits and social enterprises. Dinidae connects enterprises with online shoppers, helping them increase their impact in a simple yet engaging platform. Dinidae gives 50% of their profits back to their sellers through different programs and initiatives. When you buy through Dinidae you are not only getting something special for yourselves but also helping wonderful, ethical businesses deliver on social outcomes.

Dumu Café - Rex's Story (SENVIC Story)

Dumu Balcony Cafe is a social enterprise that focuses on delicious, healthy, well-priced meals. It is a training café for young men and women to build work readiness skills.

Co-Founder Rebecca and filmmakers and Project Co-ordinators at partnering Thamarrurr Youth Indigenous Corporation, Dallas & Jerry invite us into Rex's journey to employment, showing us how Dumu Cafe changed Rex's life and how Rex and his community members enrich the business landscape to make it more inclusive, tolerant and diverse.

Dallas and Jerry are in the process of setting up their media business, Dariikardu Numi Media (One Family Media) - we are excited and humbled to be a part of their story.

Episode 3: #BuildForwardBetter - Social Enterprises Responses to COVID

21 August, Episode 3: #Build Forward Better: Social Enterprise Responses to COVID

You've probably heard the term Build Back Better by now. Within social enterprise we'd like to say Build Forward Better instead.

That's why we're looking at the best social enterprise responses to COVID that Australia has been able to muster, and where our potential for #BuildForwardBetter can realise. 

Feature Story: Moving Feast with Bec Scott, Streat

Yasmin Grigaliunas, Co-Founder, World's Biggest Garage Sale

Yasmin is an absolute legend. Passionate about the circular economy and saving literally tons of waste from landfill, she created the World's Biggest Garage Sale back in 2013. Not being one to waste a good crisis, she's led the WBGS community to a new frontier and actually improved on the garage sale -- but without a garage! We'll look more into this unique story of adaptation and share a bit of Yasmin's indomitable spirit with the audience.

Chris Andrew, Black Duck Foods

Black Duck Foods is a new indigenous social enterprise committed to traditional food growing processes that care for Country and return economic benefits directly to Indigenous people.

Founded by Bruce Pascoe, of Dark Emu fame, we'll continue our exploration of weaving aspects of a uniquely Australian form of social enterprise into our Enterprising Stories series.

Episode 2: How do we build foundational trust?

How do we build foundational trust? 

Within the impact sector and social enterprise, one often hears buzzwords such as collaboration, or breaking down silos. Underneath these buzzwords is a key ingredient to making collaborations successful: trust.

On August 14th, we're going to talk about that central ingredient to collaboration and how we can generate more of it. By unpacking compelling stories of trust, we'll explore how we as an impact sector can build out trust, build stronger collaborations based on trust and consider how a collective approach to impact could deliver the systems change we all seek.  

Story 1: Hosting the Social Enterprise World Forum - The Christchurch Experience; Alex Hannant, Co-Director, Yunus Centre @ Griffiths University

Alex Hannant had both the fortune and the burden of organising for the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch back in 2017. Now resident in Australia and working at the Yunus Centre based at Queensland's Griffiths University, we're lucky to have Alex on our shores nowadays -- he will share some experiences of building trust in preparation for Christchurch's hosting of the the forum.

Story 2: COVID Collaboration Overseas: The UK/Scotland Experience

In Australia, we often hear comparisons with the UK/Scotland social enterprise experience, and that we are at an 'earlier stage' of sector development. If we look into ecosystems that are more mature, what lessons do they hold for what we can do if choose to collaborate more deeply? Discussion hosted by Tara Anderson of Social Traders and Matt Pfahlert of Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship. 

Story 3: Firesticks Alliance: Alliance Building 

Before COVID and before the devastating bushfires of earlier this year, Jessica Wegener had been quietly building up alliances around traditional and western fire management practices with the Firesticks Alliance. We'll open up and discover an Indigenous way of organising around values that lends to the stewardship perspective we need to have towards our ecology and therefore economy. 

Episode 1: Walking Together - The Real Impact of Economic Inclusion

What will social enterprise look like with Aboriginal businesses leading the charge?

On August 7th, join us for our special launch episode featuring three unique Aboriginal businesses who work across Australia.

Feature Story + Panel Q&A: "What does authentic economic inclusion look like?" with Leah Armstrong, Managing Director, First Australians Capital

Story 1: Indigenous Female Entrepreneurship and Leadership with Natasha Short, Kimberly Jiyigas

Out in Western Australia, Natasha Short has been driving social impact for female indigenous leaders in her commmunities. Millhouse Ventures CEO Cindy Mitchell will introduce this legend to us and share a bit of what she's been up to.

Story 2: Microentrepreneurship in Aboriginal Communities - Gulbarn

We'll also visit a remote social enterprise in WA that provides tea and impact in the form of a beautifully filmed short story, presented by Impact North coordinator Alexie Sellers.

Pilot Episode - 31 July 2020

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair

Pilot Episode - 31 July 2020

Interview with Shilo McNamee, Public Program Coordinator:

Full Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Video

The Enterprising Stories Broadcast Campaign


Australia's economic recovery needs impact businesses that are run well, who have support to grow, and are able to access Australia's social purchasing and procurement opportunities.

The overarching objective will be to connect various stakeholders within the social enterprise ecosystem via the campaign, provide a core platform to share stories and learn from one another. The outcome will be accelerated authentic collaboration through the facilitation of important conversations and inspiring stories that help evolve the ecosystem.

The broadcast co-creation process will help crystallise and refine a shared social enterprise narrative and enable connectivity between social enterprise businesses.

Digital Storytellers will also provide pathways for enterprises to build their capacity to market their services and alongside the broadcasts.

Why are we doing this?

The Context

The frontlines of our health care workers, and all those essential to bolster our nation's journey through one of the toughest times in recent history, have fought tirelessly to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and lessen the impact to our communities in every way possible.

There is no doubt that there is still some way to go, but the transition from defence to recovery has begun, and it is time for the second line of the essential workforce to step in and help that transition.

Our Role as Social Enterprises

We were made for this

Today, there are an estimated 20,000 social enterprises in Australia, operating across a wide range of industries, including health and social assistance, transport and storage, manufacturing, accommodation and food services.

Social enterprises by nature are deeply connected to their communities as they exist to tackle social problems and create an environmentally sustainable society. Many work side by side with some of the nation’s most vulnerable and isolated people.

These groups are often overlooked and under-served. It's more important than ever for the social enterprise sector to step up and fulfil its calling to create a more diverse and inclusive economy.

We need Australia to support social enterprise.

Our state bodies represent single points of engagement for local and state government to resource the greater social enterprise network, and a way to leverage the economic recovery post COVID-19 that is needed in Australia.

Who is behind this?

A Co-created Campaign

Digital Storytellers is only one piece in the puzzle of creating ecosystem evolution. That's why we've brought together a content advisory group composed of ecosystem leaders and social enterprise do-ers who all have demonstrated experience and effectiveness in enabling larger growth and the ability to work in systems entrepreneurship. All are passionate advocates of social enterprise and have staked their organisations and life's work on the growth of the sector.

Core Broadcast Partners

Content Advisory Partners

Alliance of Social Enterprise Networks Australia (ASENA)

The development of Australia's state-based social enterprise networks represents an exciting moment for the nation's social enterprise community to stand up and represent itself as a significant industry to government, business and the greater public. With an estimated 20,000 social enterprises operating today, there is immense potential to catalyse the impact potential of social enterprise nationally. We now need to connect everyone in this network, collectively fly the flag of social enterprise and show how we're meeting this extraordinary moment in history.

Social Enterprise World Forum Partnership

Traditionally held as a in-person conference that travels around the world, the forum now runs as a series of fully digital events, allowing vast new connectivity between the global social enterprise movement never before possible.

Digital Storytellers, along with Impact Boom and Social Change Central, have been engaged with the world forum for several years.

For Australian Social Enterprises, the forum represents a unique opportunity to connect our local efforts into the growth of the global impact economy, while rallying our policymakers to learn from global best practice. The event also serves as a timely moment to rally our communities to connect and support one another in ever evolving ways.

Join Us

How can I help?

You can join this campaign in one of three ways:

Sponsorship/Financial Contributions

  • Your donations or fundraising will allow delivery partners to bring quality to the campaign via production value and marketing
  • Skills and Time

  • You can help us coordinate, facilitate and amplify the mechanics of the campaign with your unique skill set and time
  • Co-design

  • Help to adapt this to your local context so that the campaign meets the required needs of community
  • Reach out on mikey@digitalstorytellers.com.au to learn more.