You wouldn’t have guessed it was before 9 o’clock in the morning, the way Olivia Cozzolino, Principal, Growth Services at Social Traders got the room buzzing about all things Social Procurement. It was an inspiring way to kick off the day, and for those who attended, the ACSI Conference. We are confident that most people privy to Olivia’s presentation walked away thinking about how they can make more conscious choices as to how when considering their options for catering, cleaning, office supplies and the myriad of other social enterprises we now know are out there.
Social procurement is when organisations use their buying power to generate social value above and beyond the value of the goods or services being procured. This includes the purchasing of goods or services from social enterprises, indigenous-owned businesses, disability enterprises, or the direct employment of disadvantaged people.
Social enterprise, on the other hand, are organisations that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide access to employment or training opportunities for disadvantages people, or help the environment.
It was a privilege to have Olivia talk us through her eye-opening presentation, guiding us on what exactly social procurement is, how much of an impact it can have on the individuals involved, and just how easy it can be for the rest of us to make a difference to our broader communities.
Olivia came to WIS through the Observership Program, which facilitates the involvement of promising individuals in a structured experience on non-profit Boards. She brings with her her vast knowledge on the area of Social Procurement which is the bread and butter of what they do at Social Traders – a service that pairs organisations with suitable social enterprises.