Social enterprises such as Goodwill Wine are making an impact across Australia, donating profits to charities and building business models that appeal to consumer values.
Ten years ago, Goodwill Wine joined the growing business of doing good, establishing itself as a highly credible social enterprise and donating 50% of all profits to charities and not-for-profits.
When Founder and CEO David Laity lost almost everything he owned in Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, he was faced with starting again, while looking for meaning. With a $15, 000 Red Cross Bushfire Appeal grant, Laity launched an online wine company as a sole trader to pay forward the goodwill that helped him to get back on his feet.
The certified social enterprise has now donated $285,000 of profits to over 300 charities thanks to ethical purchasing power.
“I didn’t know I was actually a social enterprise when I started out,” Laity says.
“I just wanted to help the charities that helped me, rewarding their supporters with quality wine at great value, while giving half of my profits to charity.”
“I quickly learnt that people liked the idea of buying ethically and committing to supporting start-ups like me through buying and investing.”
Doing good, being ethical, and demonstrating values in commerce has been his personal driver while establishing the business. Laity discovered that a by-product of the giving impact is that doing good can help a business flourish.
The social enterprise sector is growing rapidly, and is on track to becoming recognised as part of the mainstream economy.
Social Traders CEO David Brookes states that we know that the social enterprise ecosystem in Australia is growing rapidly and is becoming increasingly diverse. He cites Goodwill Wine as a fantastic example of that diversity as well as the power of social procurement – that, is buying goods and services from social enterprise.
“It’s important that we continue to raise of awareness of businesses like Goodwill Wine and what you actually get when you buy from them. You’re buying a high quality product and you’re also buying social impact,” says Brookes.
“We congratulate David and all he has achieved, and we look forward to helping Goodwill Wine deliver even more growth and impact.”
For Goodwill Wine, the online wine shop makes an impact contributing directly to charities while supporting Australian boutique wineries. From supporting animal conservation and medical research, to youth empowerment programs and asylum resource centres, buyers nominate a charity of their choice at check-out.
Ethics alone can’t guarantee market success and recognising capital in the start-up phase can be challenging for many. Goodwill Wine embarked on an angel investment arrangement with one shareholder building an impact portfolio. Laity applied as rigorous a selection process to a further 10 investors as he does his wine stock, and was delighted with the outcome.
Laity embarked on a social enterprise certification through detailed analysis of financials conducted by Australia’s governing body, Social Traders, Australia’s leading social enterprise development audience. The business met additional criteria, employing staff who are long-term unemployed or living with a disability, further proof that social enterprises are vital community assets, delivering long-term solutions for communities.
“Over the last 6 months we’ve grown 300%. We’re still fine-tuning our processes and are yet to put our foot on the accelerator but it’s definitely exciting times ahead for us, our charity partners and the community,” says Laity.
Through increasingly ethical purchase decisions, Australians are contributing to social causes, communities and the environment, demonstrating that social enterprises are leading with superior product offerings.
Goodwill Wine feel good facts
Goodwill Wine partners with 150 charities and not-for-profit organisations to donate 50% of its sales to help them continue their great work.
A Certified Social Enterprise, Goodwill Wine is independently audited and donations to charities verified.
There are an estimated 20,000 social enterprises across Australia.
They give back while giving back. 75% of their workforce are either long-term unemployed or NDIS clients.
It is very easy (and free!) for charities to get up and running with their own page on the Goodwill Wine website. Learn more about the charities Goodwill Wine supports.