What is a social firm? A social firm is a not-for-profit business with a purpose to create accessible employment for people facing barriers to work as a result of mental illness, disability or other disadvantage.
A social firm has a supportive work environment that:
- employs between 25% and 50% of employees with a disability.
- pays all workers at award/ productivity-based rates.
- provides the same work opportunities, rights and obligations to all employees.
- generates the majority of its income through the commercial activity of the business.
- any modifications required for the employee in need of support are built into the design of the workplace.
The social firm model originated in Italy in the 1960s and is one type of social enterprise. A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social purpose.