How is Social Enterprise defined?

You must meet the social enterprise definition according to Finding Australia's Social Enterprise Sector to be eligible for the Awards.

This defines social enterprise as an organisation that must:

  • Be led by an economic, social, cultural, or environmental mission consistent with a public or community benefit

  • Trade* to fulfil your mission (*Trade includes revenue from: membership, sponsorship, sales of products and services and income from competitively awarded contracts from government. Trade does not include: Grants, donations or loans).

  • Derive a substantial* portion of your income from trade (*50% or more for ventures that are more than five years from start­up or 25% or more for ventures that are less than five years from start­up).

  • Reinvest over 50% of your profit/surplus in the fulfilment of your mission

  • Be incorporated and/or trading in Australia.

For more information on how social enterprises are defined visit www.socialtraders.com.au

What if I don't meet the definition of a social enterprise as outlined in the Finding Australia Social Enterprise Sector research?

If your organisation does not meet the definition of social enterprise as outlined in Finding Australia's Social Enterprise Sector, you will not be eligible to submit an Awards entry.

What if my social enterprise is part of a larger organisation?

Please submit information only for the social enterprise, not for the parent organisation.

Awards Application and Judging Process

How are the awards decided?

Entries are shortlisted by a dedicated panel for each award category. Shortlisted entries will then be judged by a panel of experts from a range of industries. The judges review the shortlisted candidates against the award category criteria to determine the winners.

How long will the judging process take?

Shortlisting and due diligence will be completed over September and October. Judging will then be completed in early November. Finalists will be announced in late October and the Awards will be presented to the winners at an event in late November.

What documentation is required for the award application?

To enter the Social Enterprise Awards, please ensure you have the following prepared:

  • An overview of your social enterprise, your social mission and how you are delivering on your social mission

  • Financials for your social enterprise including; Trading Income, Non trading income, Total Income, Profit/surplus/loss & Profit/surplus reinvested in the mission.

The application process will differ slightly for each category. PLease read the information provided for each category to ensure you are applying for the right award. There is also an outline of the specific judging criteria and information you need to be able to demonstrate for each category.

Is there any cost for entering the awards?

Entry to the Awards is free.

Can we apply for more than one category?

You can apply for as many categories as you are eligible for but you will need to complete a separate application for each category you enter. Please use the same account for all applications.

When do applications close?

Applications close at 5pm Friday 2nd September. All applications must be submitted online. Postal entries will not be accepted.

If we won an award last year can we apply for the same award this year?

If you are a Social Enterprise Awards 2015 winner, you cannot enter the same award category in the following year. However you will still be able to enter any other award categories you may be eligible for – you just can’t win the same award two years in a row.

Providing Financial Data

Do I need to provide audited financial information?

Audited financial information is not required for an initial submission. If your organisation is required to be audited, then audited financial information may be requested if you are shortlisted for an Award.

What if I only have 11 months of financial data?

If you are applying for an Award that requires that you have been trading for three years or more, you are required to submit 12 full months of financial information for each year. For example, if you only have 11 months of financial information for 2016, you would omit the 2016 information and provide information for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 financial years.

If you are applying for an Award and you have been trading for less than three years, you may submit information for part of a financial year. Please refer to the question, "What if I don't have three years of actual financial information available".

What if I don't have three years of actual financial information available?

For organisations applying in categories that require trading to be less than three years or a minimum of one year, you may need to provide a combination of actual and forecast information. For example, if you commenced trading in Jan 2014 and your financial year end is 30th June, please provide the following data:

  • Year 1 - Jan - June 2014 actuals. Please make a note to explain this is only 6 months of financial information.
  • Year 2 - Jul 2015 - Jun 2016 actuals.
  • Year 3 - Jul 2016 - Jun 2017 forecast.


What if we started trading part way through a financial year and don't have a full year of financial information?

If you are applying for a category where you must have been trading for three years (Social Enterprise of the Year Small/Large, Women's Impact Award) this will not be relevant. For organisations that are applying for a category where trading may be less than three years, part year financial information can be submitted. For example, if you commenced in Jan 2014 and your financial yead end is 30th June, please provide the following data:

  • Year 1 - Jan - Jun 2014 actuals. Please make a note to explain that this is only 6 months of financial information.
  • Year 2 - Jul 2015 - Jun 2016 actuals.
  • Year 3 - Jul 2016 - Jun 2017 forecast.


What if my financial year end in not 30th June?

Submit information for the financial year end relevant for your organisation. For example, if your financial year end is 31st Dec, then three years of historical information would be:

  • 2013 - 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2013
  • 2014 - 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2014
  • 2015 - 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2015


What if we made a loss rather than a profit?

There is a field to capture any losses. For the redistribution of profits, please enter zeros.

Do I need to complete all financial information?

All financial fields must be completed. If the answer to the question is zero, please enter 0, do not leave the field blank. There are prompts and guides in the application form to assist you.

Using the Social Enterprise Awards Application Portal

Where can I find my entries?

You will need to log into your user account then navigate to the 'My Account' tab. The My Account page will show you a list of all your complete and incomplete entries.

What if I forget my user login password?

If you forget your password, navigate to the 'My Account' tab and click on the 'Forgotten your password?' link. Instructions on how to reset your password will be emailed to your registered email address.

How do I use the application form?

You can enter your responses in sequential order my answering all the questions on the page then clicking the 'Next' button. All your responses will be saved and you will be directed to the next part of the application form.

Do I have to complete the application form in sequential order?

You can use the section navigation on the left hand side to jump forwards and backward to the sections that you want to complete.

How do I know when a page has been completed?

A tick/check mark will appear next to the section title on the left hand side navigation. You can also see the percentage of your entry that has been completed in the counter in the top right hand corner.

What do the red asterisks mean?

Any question that is followed by a red asterisk is a mandatory question that must be answered before you can proceed with the application.

What does the question mark icon mean?

The question mark icon provides guide text for the given question. Click the icon to reveal more information or a helpful tip.

How do I submit the application?

Once you have completed all the mandatory questions and progressed to the last page of the application, the 'Submit' button will appear at the bottom of the page. Once you have submitted your application, you will be able to access a summary of your application on the 'My Account' tab but you will no longer be able to edit your responses.

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