Applying for a SEDI Grant

The Social Enterprise Development Initiative (SEDI) was announced in the Australian Government’s 2023-24 Budget. SEDI is part of the Government’s Targeting Entrenched Disadvantage package.

SEDI capability building grants, valued at up to $120,000 each, support eligible social enterprises (Indigenous owned or controlled organisations with a defined social benefit) to build capability to grow their impact.

We know many Australian social enterprises have the potential to scale and increase their impact but need to build capability with assistance from intermediaries. We also know that scaling impact can be challenging and often intimidating. Support from capability building intermediaries can be invaluable for social enterprises – for instance to develop a fit-for-purpose business plan, build an Impact Measurement Framework or an impact investment financial model, learn how to record business data, measure and evaluate impact, market the organisation, or seek specialist legal advice. However, paying for such support can be challenging.

This is how a SEDI Grant can assist. Impact Investing Australia (IIA) provides SEDI Grants to mission-driven organisations to pay for the capability building support needed to scale and grow their impact.

Who can apply?

Eligible SEDI Grant applicants:

  • Are a social enterprise (see definition below) or a trading Indigenous owned or controlled organisation with a defined social benefit
  • Have an impact in one or more of the approved Department of Social Services (DSS) outcome areas (see Impact Outcome Areas below)
  • Currently provide benefit to those experiencing entrenched disadvantage in Australia
  • Are an Australian organisation
  • Have beneficiaries who primarily reside in Australia
  • Have a turnover of at least $50,000 per year
  • May be early stage but have progressed beyond the start-up phase
  • Are seeking to scale impact (now or in the future) in one or more of the approved outcome areas to address entrenched disadvantage in Australia

Definition: A social enterprise is a business that puts people and planet first. It trades like any other business but exists specifically to make the world a better place. A social enterprise seeks to solve a social or environmental problem. It can be a for-profit or non-profit organisation, or a charity that trades.

Impact outcome areas

To be eligible for a SEDI Grant, social enterprises must work in one or more of the DSS approved outcome areas.

View Outcome Areas (PDF)

What will a SEDI Grant fund?

Grant funds are to be used to purchase business and capability building services that will help a social enterprise grow its impact. These services are to be provided by intermediaries and must be completed within six months of a SEDI Grant being awarded.

The SEDI Grant application form includes a list of capability building services that social enterprises can choose from. This list of services is flexible and will change as the SEDI Grants Team learns more about what social enterprises need. Social enterprises can include other services (not included in the list) that will help grow their impact.

The types of services a social enterprise selects is dependent on its needs, but could include:

  • Advice on systems implementation
  • IT/HR/Inventory/Accounting
  • Advice on financial management and reporting
  • Advice on marketing strategy/materials preparation
  • Advice on social procurement strategies
  • Investor grant pitch development
  • Introductions to impact investors or philanthropists
  • Operations advice to assist in scaling operations
  • Other capability building services to assist with scaling impact
  • Internal costs necessary to purchase capability building services (to a maximum of 20% of total grant funding)

After receiving a SEDI Grant, it will be mandatory for the social enterprise to establish the following two documents during the project timeline (if not already in place):

  • an Impact Measurement Framework
  • a Business Plan

Note: Grant funding can be used by the social enterprise to have its capability building needs assessed by a provider/intermediary, after a SEDI Grant has been awarded. The list of capability building services, the chosen provider/s (intermediary/ies) and allocated budget the social enterprise identifies in its grant application can be changed, subject to approval by the SEDI Grants Team. No extra funding will be provided.

Application process

EOI

Step 1.
Submit EOI

Call

Step 2.
Phone call with SEDI Grants Team

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Step 3.
Submit grant application
(upon invitation)

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Step 4.
Interview with Expert Panel (upon invitation)

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Srep 5.
Grant outcome

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI)
    Social enterprises that believe they qualify for a SEDI Grant must first submit an expression of interest (EOI). An EOI is required to assess a social enterprise’s eligibility to apply for a SEDI Grant.
  2. Phone call
    Once an EOI is successfully submitted, the SEDI Grant applicant will be prompted to book in a phone call with a SEDI Grants Team member from IIA. The purpose of the call is to discuss the social enterprise’s eligibility (according to the eligibility criteria) and provide the applicant with an opportunity to ask questions about the grant process.
  3. Grant application
    Should the social enterprise be deemed eligible to apply for a SEDI Grant, an online application will be shared with the applicant to complete and submit for assessment by the SEDI Grants Expert Panel.
  4. Interview with Expert Panel
    Grant applications are assessed by the SEDI Grants Expert Panel. Once applications have been assessed, shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in an interview with the Expert Panel.
  5. Grant outcome
    Following the interview with the SEDI Grants Expert Panel, applicants will be contacted to advise the outcome.

Submit an expression of interest (EOI)

Assessment criteria

The decision to award a SEDI Grant is made by the SEDI Grants Expert Panel. Panel decisions are informed following the assessment of the grant application and an interview with the applicant.

The Panel will consider a range of factors in determining whether to award a SEDI Grant, including:

  • Will the capability building services that the social enterprise has proposed (which make up its Capability Plan) effectively and efficiently enable the social enterprise to scale its impact?
  • What is the likely additional impact of the social enterprise’s scaling plans on people experiencing entrenched disadvantage in Australia, compared to them not receiving the grant funds?
  • How does the social enterprise put people and planet first, to make the world a better place?
  • How does the social enterprise (or its project) align with one or more of the DSS approved outcome areas? (see Outcome Areas above)
  • How does the social enterprise measure its impact?
  • Would the social enterprise be able to afford the provider’s fees without funding from a SEDI Grant? (Providers are the intermediaries that will provide capability building services to the social enterprise)
  • Is the social enterprise led by a capable and experienced team?

Applicants are notified of the outcome by IIA’s SEDI Grants Team.