Our vision is to help break the cycles of homelessness through providing employment and housing solutions.

The Underground Collaborative is a social enterprise that exists to provide employment and housing solutions for the homeless, at-risk and disadvantaged. But we can only achieve this through collaboration – with our community, relevant industries, government and social services.

Our mission is to educate, empower, and provide sustainable employment and housing for the homeless, at-risk and disadvantaged.

We are passionate about equal rights and the inherent value of people – their dignity, respect and freedom. We strive towards applying these beliefs, and is our motivation to everything that we do.

What is a social enterprise?

A social enterprise, as defined by Social Traders, is a business that trades to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment.

They are:

  • driven by a public or community cause, be it social, environmental, cultural or economic;
  • derive most of their income from trade, not donations or grants;
  • use the majority (at least 50%) of their profits to work towards their social mission.

Despite common belief, social enterprises are not charity organisations; they may often work with charities to distribute their profits, but are in fact, not one themselves.

In an Australian context, there is no legal structure that defines a social enterprise. Therefore, they can be a not-for-profit, company limited by guarantee, co-operative, company, or hybrid.

The most common impact models of a social enterprise:

  1. Product / Service Model (e.g. Hire Up)
  2. Employment Model (e.g. STREAT, The Underground Collaborative)
  3. Value / Supply Chain Model
  4. Revenue / Profit Model; i.e. donating profits with a charity / NFP (e.g. Halo Espresso, Thankyou)
  5. Equity Model – NFP owns the business; i.e. they own the business as an asset (e.g. op-shops owned by Salvos, Feast of Merit restaurant owned by ygap)

Like all businesses, social enterprises operate in commercial markets, generating a profit from their trade. However, unlike other businesses, they exist to fulfil their overriding and specific social purpose.

This is at the heart of every social enterprise, driving everything it does. By supporting The Underground Collaborative, you are helping to break the cycle of disadvantage, and strengthening communities.