Why Apply for the Social Enterprise Awards?
In 2014, Brisbane's SEED Parks and Property Maintenance was selected as the winner of the Small Social Enterprise of the Year. Steve Williams, former SEED Enterprise Director, reflects on what winning the Award meant for their business.
Brisbane’s SEED Parks and Property Maintenance (SEED) was established in 2009. Operating as part of the community development organisation Sandbag Inc, SEED provides work for the long-term unemployed by delivering commercial cleaning and residential gardening services.
In 2014, SEED won the Social Enterprise of the Year (Small) Award, which recognises a social enterprise for their outstanding vision, social impact, leadership and business practices.
Steve Williams, who was SEED Enterprise Director at the time of winning the Award, said entering was an important way of getting recognition for the hard work put in by the team.
“Winning the Social Enterprise of the Year Award was such great recognition of all of the hard work and effort our team had put in over the last five years. Being recognised at a national level gave our team a real boost in their confidence and morale, and also made a big impact with our customers," said Williams.
The Social Enterprise of the Year Award recognises a social enterprise for their performance across a range of areas including outstanding vision, social impact, leadership and business practices.
“The Award was not just about our social impact, but also how we’ve managed our finances and operated our business. Being recognised for having sound business practices is always really attractive when you’re speaking to other people in business and trying to win new work," said Williams.
“But probably the best thing about being involved with the Awards was the extra publicity for the enterprise. It's only a small operation, so being able to get national exposure for our work was a real bonus.”
Despite entering the Awards in 2013 and not being shortlisted, SEED decided to reapply the following year with totally different results. Williams advice was for social enterprises to continue applying for the Awards, even if they've applied in previous years without success.
“I also want to especially encourage all the other social enterprises in QLD to apply. We’ve got such a great start up, grass roots culture here it would be great to see more social enterprises from QLD get represented,” said Williams.
Applications are now open for the Social Enterprise Awards 2016 until Friday 2nd September. For all the Award categories and to enter, head to: socialenterpriseawards.com.au/2016-awards/