SEED has measured the social impact its creates in three ways; firstly Social Ventures Australia independently conducted a Social Return on Investment Analysis (SROI) study. The report indicated three major stakeholder groups; employees, who were excluded from the traditional labour market, Sandbag Inc (SEED’s parent body) and the government. The SROI found for every $1 invested in SEED $2.45 is created in social value.
Secondly, in 2013 SEED conducted a Social Impact Assessment (SIA). The SIA identified a number of social impacts. The social impacts were organised into two broad but overlapping social change processes, which exist as a consequence of SEED’s activities. The social change processes and their associated impacts are outlined below.
Opportunity to work
By having the opportunity to work at SEED, past and present employees have been able to:
Earn enough money to cover living expenses when government services were insufficient or non-existent.
Re-establish their position in the workforce after not working for a number of years.
More easily access employment through SEED’s informal hiring processes (drop-in, word-of-mouth, recommendations etc.), which do not require sophisticated resume writing or interviewing skills.
Overcome the anxiety of unemployment and become active in the community.
Save money for important purchases.
Supportive working conditions
The supportive working conditions offered by SEED creates a friendly and communal atmosphere that is able to:
Accommodate personal circumstances (mental illness, language barriers etc.) where other employers cannot.
Assist employees in the development of new skills and relationships.
Instill within employees the desire for more work.
The social impacts identified during the SIA illustrate that SEED’s social value not only exists in terms of their capacity to employ people excluded from the mainstream labour market but in their ability to create a supportive environment that enables these people to prosper and perform quality work that meets the client’s expectations and keeps SEED operating as a competitive enterprise.
The third way we measure impact is in financial terms. In four years SEED grew from a turnover of $50,000 to $500,000. We have created over 20,000 hours of employment for long term unemployed / marginalised people, and paid them $500,000 in wages. In that time we employed 56 people with 75% coming from our target group, ably supported and trained by highly skilled and qualified staff.
Below is one of many real stories about our social impact creation