The Social Impact Hub is accepting applications for its highly acclaimed Scaling Impact Accelerator Program for social enterprises and purpose-driven startups looking to grow their business and prepare for future impact investment.
Funded through the Australian Government's Entrepreneurs' Programme and the Sidney Myer Fund, together with support from EY and the English Family Foundation, Scaling Impact focuses on addressing the needs of social start-ups at a crucial point in their development – the inflexion point between building on a proven track record and preparing to take on impact investment.
Jessica Mendoza-Roth, Founder and CEO at Social Impact Hub, said that Scaling Impact is a collaborative initiative, bringing together a range of actors to create pathways to investment for promising social start-ups.
“Our vision for Scaling Impact is to see significantly more capital flowing to solutions that can deliver social and environmental impact at scale so that more Australian social enterprises can successfully grow locally and internationally. We have been privileged to support 16 enterprises through the program to date, and many have already raised capital and are successfully growing their impact,” Mendoza-Roth said.
Kicking off in May 2022, the Scaling Impact Accelerator is a value-packed, five-month program that includes a series of masterclasses, tailored advisory support and mentoring, with a focus on future impact investment. Some of the masterclasses will be open to the public to join and will be announced here.
"We are looking for enterprises that have an unambiguous social or environmental intention that is aligned with one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals and at least $50,000 in revenue traction and a proven business model with embedded impact," said Roth.
The inaugural program received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the enterprises that participated. ""As a result of the program, Umbo was able to connect with a social impact investor and attain investment. We were also able to bring on two excellent board members through networks which were opened up. It's fair to say that without the program, these results would have been almost impossible," said Weh Yeoh, Co-Founder and CEO at Umbo and Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 2021 Winner.
Nicole Gamerov, Founder and CEO at MyCareSpace was also full of praise, “The Scaling Impact Accelerator Program has literally transformed our business by giving us the skills and tools we need to scale up our impact on the disability sector.”
Building on the success of the first program, the enterprises in the 2021 program were similarly complimentary. "I could not recommend the Scaling Impact Accelerator Program highly enough," said Emma Fulu, Founder and Executive Director of The Equality Institute. "All of the support provided, from the masterclasses, tailored advisory services, and support from the Social Impact Fellows was invaluable. Personally, I have a much stronger understanding of what investors are looking for, how to communicate effectively with them, and also what we should be looking for in an investor."
In reflecting on her experience, Co-Founder of PROJECT ROCKIT, Rosie Thomas emphasised the uniqueness and transformational nature of the program. "Scaling Impact is different to all the other accelerator programs out there because it is more than just marketing and hype," said Rosie. "The awesome masterclasses, the seasoned experts embedded in your business and the closeness and support from the small cohort have utterly transformed PROJECT ROCKIT for the better - and at a time when COVID-19 was threatening our extinction."
Since participating in the program, several of the enterprises have already successfully raised capital, while the Social Impact Hub has also gone on to secure Impact Investment Ready Growth Grants (IIRGG) for a number of the enterprises to provide the further support necessary to raise capital and fast-track their growth and scale of impact.
The Social Impact Hub's Social Impact Fellowship, will run alongside the accelerator and also be of great benefit to the enterprises selected in the program. Developed in response to a demand for formal guidance for those wanting to create greater social and environmental impact in their careers, the transformative fellowship program is for aspiring changemakers seeking to explore their purpose and understand how they can drive greater social and environmental impact through their work and beyond. The enterprises in the Scaling Impact accelerator can utilise the skills and expertise of the selected Fellows on important projects who, in exchange, receive practical and real-world experience working in a social enterprise.