About SEIL

Social Enterprise Impact Lab (SEIL)

Welcome to the Social Enterprise Impact Lab (SEIL) website. SEIL is a ground-breaking research project, driven by collaboration between The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) Swinburne University of Technology, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Family Life. This project will explore and innovate evaluation practice at five participating organisations, including

  1. Family Life
  2. Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES)
  3. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
  4. Earthworker
  5. Goodcycles

SEIL also aims to benefit social enterprise(s) and enterprising organisations more broadly, by synthesising and sharing collective learnings gleaned from research conducted as part of this project.

What is SEIL?

SEIL is a multi-year meta-evaluation of impact evaluation methodology for social enterprises. We will examine the effectiveness of different approaches social enterprises use to evaluate and report their social impacts, to determine what does and doesn’t work and why. SEIL involves five participating social enterprises, who will work with each other and researchers from CSI Swinburne to grow our collective knowledge of achievable, affordable and effective social impact measurement and evaluation. We are hoping to develop a list of common indicators and create an online data dashboard that social enterprises can use to monitor and communicate their impacts.  Ultimately, SEIL will share this knowledge – what works, why and how – with the broader social enterprise sector.


Individual organisations will receive tailored feedback to improve the effectiveness of their impact measurement processes. Participating organisations will also get first-use access to the online data dashboard prototype, which can be embedded in their websites to communicate their key social impacts in real time. SEIL is likely to catalyse future research in this area, and thus promote better practice in evaluation and social impact measurement approaches for social enterprise in the longer term.