Social Enterprise

A social enterprise is a business that operates to achieve a social outcome and generate enough income to cover its running costs. These businesses provide products and services like any other business, the difference being their emphasis on serving the community as priority. City of Parramatta defines social enterprises as businesses with:

  • social, environmental or cultural objectives core to their purpose and focus
  • limited distributions of profits where the majority of profits are reinvested in the enterprise or an associated social entity
  • a commitment to generating a social return in addition to a financial return
  • a mixture of capital inputs where the enterprise is supported through a mixture of income from grants, subsidies and trading
  • democratic decision making structures and that seek high levels of accountability to their stakeholders rather than just to shareholders. 

To support the growing number of social enterprises in the City of Parramatta we have a range of programs on offer. Read more about them below. 


If you have a great idea that would benefit the local community but just need a kick-start to get it off the ground, or if you're looking to expand or move your social enterprise to Parramatta, our Social Enterprise Grants program may be able to help. Our grant may provide funding or another related benefit, such as a mentoring and advisory services to local organisations and businesses.

good gift guide

Looking for gifts this season? Don’t just head to a shopping centre. Check out our Good Gift Guide instead and use your money to make a positive difference to the world.

Your family and friends will love these gift ideas – because they’re beautiful, interesting, clever and thoughtful, as well as ethical.

In this Guide you will find kids toys that support women’s and girls’ education, edible treats that support employment for people with a disability, crafts that help remote Aboriginal communities, eco-friendly homewares, clothes that give business opportunities to refugees, and even mobile phone plans that to help people with disabilities to improve their lives.

The City of Parramatta is active in its support for social enterprise, sustainability and ethical business practices. Some of the businesses in the Guide can be found right here in Parramatta. We invite you to browse and be inspired.

Click here to download the 2018 Good Gift guide.

Pitch for Good

Pitch for Good is a live crowdfunding event initiative that offers aspiring social entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their ideas for social enterprises that they hope to establish in Parramatta.

In 2018, we welcomed five female social entrepreneurs to the stage to pitch their great ideas. At the event Diane Gatto, collected the most amount of tokens in support of her initiative. 

To learn more about each of the finalists’ great ideas and help them establish new social enterprises in Parramatta visit their page: 

Carers Compass - a Journey of Care by Diane Gatto
Making it easier for families to look after ageing loved ones by connecting them with the right type of service that can best serve their needs when it matters most.

Faith, Hope, Love Soap by Agatha Simanjuntak 
Transforming women’s lives globally, restoring hope locally with one ethical & sustainable soap at a time.

GreenRenter by Sandy Xu
Find an environmentally friendly home, good for you, your pocket and the planet.

People of Purpose Network by Christina Jarron
Ending the brain drain in the community sector by supporting people to build rewarding and impactful careers in for-purpose organisations.

Small Shift by Julia Suh
Supporting locals to reimagine and create public spaces together, and upskilling people with barriers to employment.

Since the program launched in 2016, nine local social enterprises are active in Parramatta. Visit StartSomeGood for more information.

This year, join us as five female social entrepreneurs pitch their great ideas for new social enterprises they hope to establish in Parramatta. 

For more information about social enterprises or to get involved in next year’s Pitch for Good, contact Community Capacity Building team on 02 9806 5138.

Shop for a cause

The Shop for a Cause is an awareness campaign was developed by City of Parramatta to help the community identify social enterprises in the Local Government Area. Social enterprises in the Local Government Area can access "Shop for a Cause" window and pavement stickers to display on  their shopfronts, and electronic versions of the logo for use on websites and other promotional material.