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Social investment

What is social investment?

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Social investment is an approach to addressing social issues where the focus of the investment activity (be it money, resources, time) is to create positive social outcomes.

The model looks beyond spending or activity being simply the ‘purchase’ or ‘delivery’ of social interventions (such as through a direct funding model), social investment looks for ways to build human or social capital to achieve positive social and economic benefits for individuals and communities sustainably over the long term.

Social investment is not just transactional between the investor and investee as the benefits accrue to others, including local communities and economies and even to the broader community. The benefits to the broader community may include off-setting the longer term costs borne by government from less sustainable approaches.

There are many forms that social investment can take, including social enterprise, social procurement, shared value partnerships, innovation hubs, social impact bonds, community foundations and venture philanthropy. Social investment can also include education and engagement strategies for business, the not-for-profit sector and the community, to expand the reach, support and participation in social investment activity to help it grow and to support the impact made.

The benefits that promoting an active social investment market could deliver including a boost to local employment pathways and opportunities (particularly for disadvantaged groups), positive impact on social sustainability and liveability in the local government area and creating an environment of innovative education opportunities for young people in Parramatta.

Social Investment Action Plan 2018-2021

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Council has developed a Social Investment Action Plan to guide work in this area.

The overarching purpose of this plan is to encourage participation in innovative and creative social investment activity and create opportunities for it to thrive in Parramatta.

This plan also aims to continue the City of Parramatta’s reputation as an innovative, forward-thinking Council and recognised as a leader in social investment activity in NSW and Australia.

Social enterprise

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Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment.

Using the power of the marketplace to solve the most pressing societal problems, social enterprises are commercially viable businesses existing to benefit the public and the community, rather than shareholders and owners.

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