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STREAT Enterprises Pty Ltd: A case study

The STREAT Enterprises impact investment was a highly innovative response to the difficulty Australian social enterprises experience accessing adequate capital to fund development and growth. At the time, it raised the interest of many in the social enterprise ecosystem as a possible solution to the problem of accessing capital for many not-for-profit (NFP) social enterprises. STREAT Enterprises Pty Ltd commenced trading in March 2012. In February 2016, the Board of STREAT Enterprises Pty Ltd resolved to wind up the entity. From its time of incorporation, STREAT Enterprises presented ongoing operational challenges for management and struggled to achieve its financial objectives. Despite impressive social impact, STREAT management identified a lack of working capital, tensions between social impact and financial performance and low profitability as significant challenges. This retrospective case study identifies ten ‘lessons’ learned from STREAT Enterprises Pty Ltd. These lessons are relevant to this case but also important for any NFP social enterprise looking to implement a subsidiary, for-profit structure to raise equity capital.

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