Gippsland Social Enterprise Collective (SENVIC)
The Gippsland Social Enterprise Collective is an initiative of Social Enterprise Network Victoria (SENVIC), which was established in early 2018 to build a connected community of social enterprises, to facilitate access to learning and development opportunities, and to give practitioners an independent and collective voice.
As one of the largest regions in Victoria the leaders of GSEC decided to come together – as a collective – to represent the six shires of Gippsland.
They represent small business, education, creative, and community organisations and local government. Collectively, the team possesses a breadth of experience in Social Enterprise, great networks, a deep knowledge of their communities – and a burning desire to see them prosper.
GSEC has a vision for a Gippsland that will nurture emerging and established social enterprises. They can’t wait to help grow viable businesses, doing good. With purpose.
Why is Gippsland a great place to do business?
2020 has proven that we don’t need to be living in a big city or even commute to work every day to be productive. But rather, plan to make a meaningful contribution and live a life with purpose. Gippsland offers a lifestyle where your business can thrive, while you soak up the clean air and flourish in this amazing region – from mountains to the beach – and still be incredibly enterprising. We choose Gippsland every time.
What’s the one thing about your business that you wish others understood better?
We know that social enterprise is still a relatively new concept here, and there are plenty of misconceptions being addressed, but there is an urgent need to develop an entrepreneurial culture that is focused on social, community and environmental issues.
Sharing our experiences is an important way to address the misunderstanding that social enterprise is not a genuine business model (yay for networking!).
We think it’s important to know that social enterprises operate (trade) to DO good – but importantly, aspire to pay real-world wages. Volunteering is not sustainable.
Why do you support Gippslandia?
When GSEC was conceived it was quickly apparent that all six Local Leads (one in each LGA) resonated with the Gippslandia philosophy – aspired to its optimism, its can-do voice, its ethos and its aesthetic. We knew our best audience sat in the Gippslandia readership.
We also chose to support a local social enterprise telling a great Gippsland story to strengthen awareness, and the feeling is mutual.
Why is it important for your business to support local initiatives?
It’s what we do. It’s the point. This year, more than ever, the need for local community resilience has been put to the test. Our over-reliance on global supply chains and our assumption they are durable has been challenged. The alternative, to buy local and support local enterprises, has been a rallying call and a shining light as local businesses and community initiatives have responded in such innovative and supportive ways. We should and must acknowledge these endeavours, get behind them.
What does a successful and supportive community look like to you?
We love to talk about and encourage collaboration. It is the thread in the community tapestry that is unselfish, seeks to enable others to succeed and thrive, shares skills and experiences for a better outcome and, at its core, is inclined to eschew personal gratification. The willingness to mentor, encourage and enable through a collaborative network is at our core.
What do you love about being based in Gippsland?
There’s no doubt we are all Gippsland tragics! From the Bass Coast to the very far East. For all its foibles we know that real community lives here. We just need to learn how to create a stronger economy with our untapped entrepreneurial talent and the zillion natural advantages we have.
What is your ‘not to be missed’ tip for people visiting our region?
Look for the hidden gems, the off-the-beaten-track wonders. Grab the local paper or newsletter as you pass through town and find those wonderful little grassroots community events and clever, creative initiatives, start-ups and enterprises that showcase our region. Then swing by and say hello, and maybe spend a few dollars.