Making History

Posted Friday February 5, 2016

Ability Enterprises recently made history when, in an Australian first, we fully repaid the start up loan that we received from Social Ventures Australia.

Ability Enterprises commenced operations in November 2012 through delivery of the Waste Management Gatehouse contract with Toowoomba Regional Council. The contract requires us to provide staff to operate the gatehouses of waste management facilities across the Toowoomba region. The challenge back then was the small matter of finances; as a brand new business, we didn’t have the finances required to meet the start up costs to deliver the contract. In employing people with barriers to employment, we are what is called a Social Enterprise. Our vision of profit is positive social outcomes, not financial gain, and as such we were eligible for a loan from Social Ventures Australia. Social Ventures Australia is a not for profit organisation that works with partners to improve the lives of people in need in Australia.

Unfortunately it’s often the case that new enterprises fail and as a result are unable to repay their financial liabilities and never mature. Ability Enterprises is an exception. Through successfully fulfilling the original three year contract with Toowoomba Regional Council, a 12 months extension to the contract was then granted. Three years after commencing business we made the final loan repayment to SVA to become the first mature social enterprise in Australia!

We have immense gratitude towards Social Ventures Australia for the financial support that they provided to allow us the opportunity to get off the ground; and likewise, to Toowoomba Regional Council for taking a chance on a small, new, business to deliver the contract.