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Social enterprise

A cafe for all

A cafe for all »

Figuring out how we could play a significant role in evolving the communities we serve was a major focus even before Omnicare Alliance began operating.

It was clear to our CEOs the Federal and State governments' overhaul of disability and aged care funding would bring short- and long-term changes to the human services sector - particularly to not-for-profit (NFP) providers.

They identified the most effective pathway for smaller NFP providers not just to survive, but thrive, was to consolidate by merging. Our CEOs recognised the best way for the merged entity Omnicare Alliance to be sustainable was to seek out enterprise opportunities and develop business models that would bring social, commercial and economic benefits.

Omnicare is a 'profit-for-purpose' organisation. This means we re-invest any surplus revenue we generate directly into programs, projects and services to meet ever-changing community needs. We achieve this through our Social Enterprise Strategy - which incorporates a key aim of reducing our level of dependence on the public purse as we grow.

We rely overwhelmingly on government funding, through client subsidies and successful grant applications. Client contributions, private and community sector grants, donations and our fundraising efforts make up a minor proportion of our revenue.

Omnicare aims in the medium term to generate 50% of revenue from its social enterprises. 

These are defined as businesses which trade for a social (or environmental) purpose, reinvesting profits to further their goals.

Our first social enterprise is a joint venture with the Hope Cafe, in Port Macquarie. We took over the running of the cafe in July 2017, when Omnicare itself began operating as a merged organisation.

The cafe offers hospitality industry skills training and work experience to people with disabilities, supported by two staff members. Our business model will allow us to offer paid employment opportunities to people with disabilities once the cafe has met its sustainable budget targets.

  • The social benefits will include integrating people with disabilities into the workforce, and establishing stronger community connections for them in an inclusive environment.
  • Economically, this will create new jobs and offer employees a considerable degree of financial independence and a disposable income.
  • Commercially, it will reduce Omnicare's reliance on government funding for reinvestment into our core community work.

Our CEO with responsibility for Funding, Compliance and Social Enterprise is tasked with seeking opportunities to meet our community development and inclusion goals.

This role includes: liaising with community groups and NFP service providers to identify needs; developing strategies to address those needs through social enterprise; and investigating potential funding streams to meet set-up costs.