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Local businesses achieving a new measure of success

Making a social contribution, not just a profit, is becoming the new normal, says 40 Under 40 judge Carmen Garcia. She believes our state’s economic future hinges on it.

May 23, 2023, updated May 23, 2023
Durkhanai Ayubi, winner of the Community Corporate Social Impact Award in 2022. Photo: Morgan Sette.

Durkhanai Ayubi, winner of the Community Corporate Social Impact Award in 2022. Photo: Morgan Sette.

Carmen Garcia founded and is CEO of Community Corporate, a social enterprise that helps refugees, migrants, women, youth and long-term unemployed into secure and meaningful jobs in the corporate and government sectors.

She is also a judge for the InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards, with Community Corporate sponsoring the Social Impact Award.

Garcia has turned her core belief in diversity, inclusion and hiring for attitude into a national organisation, and is leveraging the company’s corporate client base to amplify the message and drive social change.

“One of the exciting things for every business owner and entrepreneur today is understanding the power and influence they have,” Garcia said.

“Whether it’s helping to solve the cost of living through incentives and employment, influencing their supply chain by deciding who they want to purchase from – they’re elevating the standards so all companies consider the importance of social impact and inclusion in the way we do business.”

Garcia says she has noticed this emerging trend in big and small companies across the state.

“We’re also seeing a lot of policy change happen at the State Government level, where they’re actually introducing a language around social enterprises,” she said.

“People assume social enterprises are automatically not for profit. But that’s not the case at all.

“Many social enterprises are commercially viable organisations that are driven by a very clear purpose to make a difference in the world.”

Judging has now finished for the InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards, which will be announced at a gala dinner on June 8.

Previous years’ winners of the Social Impact Award include Parwana founder Durkhanai Ayubi, Craig Rivett who set up both Helping Heroes and Community Assist, and Hannah Wardill who established the Supportive Oncology Research Group at The University of Adelaide.

Garcia was impressed with this year’s cohort of young leaders and entrepreneurs who were nominated for the Social Impact Award.

“They understand that a sustainable, inclusive workplace and community really has a ripple effect that helps drive social change,” she said.

“This award recognises individuals who are proactively identify the good they can do in the broader community and the world by considering things like people and planet in the way they deliver their services or products.

Garcia said the nominees were going “above and beyond” in their efforts and understood that doing good is good for business.

“They’ve levered their influence to really propel South Australia forward to be the smart, sustainable and inclusive state that we’re striving to be,” she said.

Her vision of the state’s future sees the triple bottom line of profit, people, planet come to the fore.

“I think our economy is going to be reliant on all businesses applying that corporate social responsibility lens in the way they operate.”

The InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards gala night will be held on June 8 at Adelaide Oval, with special guest Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfitt taking part in a Q&A.

Tickets for the gala awards night are $191.90 for individuals and $1801.35 for tables of 10 (including booking fee) and include a three-course meal paired with premium South Australian wines.

Buy tickets here.

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