A place to learn and exchange about social enterprise

Understorey exists to grow participation and capability in the Australian social enterprise sector. It is a place to navigate the sector and to learn and exchange. It does this to help social enterprises thrive and contribute to a better future.
About Understorey
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A guide to help navigate Australia’s social enterprise sector. It details key roles and key terms.

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Find educational tools and resources to help you start, run and evolve a social enterprise and explore the wider impact economy.

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Learning communities for participants to solve problems, develop practice, learn with and support peers, and share their learnings with others.

Understorey is a digital commons. It is an online resource available to all, and shaped by all who choose to take part.

Guide to Australia’s social enterprise sector

This Sector Guide provides an overview of the key actors and areas of activity that contribute to the development of social enterprise in Australia. From funding and investment to education and research, policy and advocacy to impact measurement and marketplaces, this guide maps out our diverse sector.

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Curated educational resources

Key topics

  • Starting and running a social enterprise

    The social enterprise journey can be both exciting and challenging. This section provides resources and tools to help you navigate the process of starting and running a successful social business. From understanding the problem you want to solve to measuring your impact and building a strong team, we cover the key areas that every social entrepreneur and practitioner needs to consider to turn intentions into impact.

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  • Working in the impact economy

    The impact economy is a rapidly evolving space that offers diverse opportunities to create positive change. This section delves into ideas and approaches that are relevant to social enterprise AND to others contributing to a new economy that puts people and planet first. From exploring power dynamics and decolonisation to thinking in systems and engaging communities, these resources will provide you with a broader view and equip you to make a meaningful impact through your work.

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  • Challenge areas for the Sector

    Social enterprises are at the forefront of tackling some of our most pressing challenges. This section focuses on four thematic areas where social enterprises are driving real change: environmental care, people-centred services, access to decent work, and community-led innovation. Dive into the latest research and thinking that can help grow understanding and impact in each of these critical areas.

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Explore key terms

This guide provides key terms used in the Australian social enterprise sector. It explains technical language and helps people use the same words to mean the same things.

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Understorey aims to feed curiosity, offer practical solutions, and inspire new possibilities for the future.

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Published Jun 2024

$300,000 available for educational resources

Under the Social Enterprise Development Initiative, $300,000 will be available to commission and licence educational resources that respond to gaps and interests expressed by the Sector. These funds come from the Australian Government, Department of Social Services.

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Reach out to one of our team members, and share input and ideas about how we can evolve Understorey.

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