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Social Enterprise Day 2023: A Catalyst for Meaningful Change in the Workforce

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

As we commemorate Social Enterprise Day in 2023, it’s a time to reflect on how businesses can be more than profit-driven entities; they can be powerful forces for societal and environmental good. At IPA, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of this movement, embodying the essence of a social enterprise whilst delivering industry-leading recruitment services to the private and public sector.

Understanding Social Enterprise

So, what exactly is a social enterprise? In essence, it’s a business model where trade is used not just for financial gain but to address critical social issues, improve communities, provide vital employment and training, and protect our environment. The Victorian Government encapsulates this spirit, defining social enterprises as organisations primarily driven by a public or community cause, deriving income from business trade and committing at least half of their profits towards their social mission. 

IPA’s Evolution into a Social Enterprise

Our journey at IPA began almost 40 years ago with a vision to revitalise the recruitment industry. From our initial foray into government-funded employment services, we’ve grown into a national presence, with our partnership with genU in 2016 marking a significant milestone in our evolution as a certified social enterprise. This alliance has empowered us to extend our reach and impact, driving positive change in the community while remaining committed to our core – connecting great people with great workplaces.

Australia’s Social Procurement Framework: Paving the Way

Australia’s Social Procurement Framework, a pioneering initiative by the state governments, has set a precedent in the realm of social procurement. This framework underlines a holistic approach to procurement, where value-for-money extends beyond cost considerations to encompass social and sustainability outcomes.

Case Study: The State of Social Procurement 2021

At IPA, our commitment to ‘business for good’ aligns perfectly with this progressive vision. We understand that buying from a social enterprise like ours doesn’t just fulfil a business need; it contributes to the welfare of communities. Our partnership with the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University showcased the tangible benefits of social procurement, highlighting how it supports local employment and includes jobs for disadvantaged people. Learn more about IPA’s research partnership with CSI Swinburne, Social Traders, CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply) and Akina here and watch our webinar series here.

This emphasis on social procurement is not just a trend; it’s becoming a fundamental expectation from governments and customers alike. Our involvement and leadership in this area rank us among the top in recruitment and human resources expertise, contributing significantly to the ‘business for good’ ecosystem.

Measuring Social Impact

But how do we measure the impact we make? At IPA, it’s not just about the numbers. Our Social Impact team delves deeper, assessing the qualitative changes our job placements bring to individuals’ lives. With over 90% of our placements reporting a positive impact on their employment stability and more than 80% choosing to continue their journey with us, we see firsthand the transformative power of meaningful employment. Our commitment goes beyond corporate philanthropy; we create a positive feedback loop where every placement not only fulfils a job role but also furthers our social mission.


“Currently very happy in my role. IPA helped me move into a position that has more structured hours, better pay, work vehicle and benefits. As a result, I feel much less stressed financially and have a much better routine.”

Facility Services Manager, Queensland

Why Partner with a Social Enterprise?

The question arises: why should businesses and job seekers choose a social enterprise like IPA? The answer lies in our commitment to not just filling job vacancies but doing so with a purpose that transcends the norm. Our work supports genU’s initiatives, from funding homes for people with disabilities to providing skills training for job seekers. When you partner with us, you’re not just making a business decision; you’re contributing to a cycle of positive social impact.

The IPA Advantage in Today’s Economy

Today’s economy, more than ever, calls for businesses and individuals to align with organisations that not only understand their needs but also contribute to the greater good. At IPA, our unique position as a social enterprise enables us to offer recruitment solutions that are both effective and ethically grounded. We’re about creating relationships for life, supporting you through every step of your career or your company’s growth, and ensuring that every placement we make contributes to a wider social mission.

In conclusion, as we celebrate Social Enterprise Day, let’s remember the power of businesses to effect real change. At IPA, we’re not just here for the short term; we’re your partners for the long run, dedicated to a journey of trust, understanding, and quality service. Follow us on our social media channels LinkedIn, FacebookInstagram, TikTok and YouTube and visit www.ipa.com.au to learn more about how we can work together towards a more inclusive and sustainable future.

We’re the only national recruitment agency committing profits to community services.