The empowerment of all women and girls is no longer nice to have in today’s world, but a necessary component of an open, inclusive, and prosperous society. Studies show that advancing women’s economic empowerment, for instance, has multiplier effects across different areas of development. What better way to do this than through social entrepreneurship?
There are 20,000 social enterprises in Australia, and the numbers are growing. Women across the country are playing a significant role in harnessing the power of markets to tackle the greatest challenges faced by society: poverty, climate, and overall sustainability. It’s through social enterprises that we can direct trade and investment towards these objectives, putting women at the forefront of asset-building as well as ensuring the well-being of families and communities.
Here are some ways that social entrepreneurship is building better, stronger women:
- Fosters diversity. Social enterprises employ double the rates of Australian female managers and persons with disability as mainstream small businesses, Smart Company noted. About one-third of board positions at these organisations are held by women, versus less than one-fourth in mainstream enterprises.
- Sparks the flame of volunteerism and community building. The Conversation reported that social enterprises attract significant volunteer support, or about 251 hours per enterprise annually. This spawns further opportunities for women marginalised from the mainstream workforce, offering them training opportunities and a sense of community.
- Meets social and sustainability criteria. Social enterprises not only create jobs, but also strive to reduce environmental impact through recycling and produce responsibility sourced products and services. They also address social issues that include homelessness, disadvantaged youth, and social exclusion – the very issues that challenge the welfare and well-being of women and girls around the world today.
A more inclusive economy, such as one built on social enterprises, empowers women in business and community participation while also enhancing our ability to pay it forward, i.e., help women and girls in other countries in dire need, such as when it comes to period care and hygiene.
What social enterprises do you know are empowering women and girls to become better and stronger? Let us know your thoughts!
Sara Bishop is an advocate for young girls and has a professional career that started at age 14. She worked a number of administration, research, and advisory positions before helping lead multiple companies, including a construction firm and a sales and marketing agency. She lives in Queensland with her husband Luke and their three children. She is the force behind Perfect Timing, a women’s wellness service that delivers customised parcels filled with feminine products to transform THAT time of the month into THE time of the month. Learn more on this page.
Posted November 9th at 4:20am